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VAT on Static Caravans

Volume 545: debated on Tuesday 22 May 2012

I advise the House that time is crucial and I would like to explain how we plan to do this. There are a large number of petitions to be presented and I hope that it will be of assistance to the House if I set out how we shall proceed.

Once the first petition relating to VAT on static caravans has been read to the House, with its prayer, subsequent petitions on the same topic should not be read out in full. Members should give a brief description of the number and location of the petitioners and state that the petition is “in the same terms”. Members presenting more than one petition should present them together.

When a Member has presented a petition, she or he should proceed to the Table and hand it to the Clerk, who will read its title and then hand it back to the Member. She or he should then proceed directly to the petitions bag at the back of the Chair. I will call the next Member immediately after the Clerk has read the title. At the expiry of half an hour, no further petitions may be presented orally, but they may be placed in the petitions bag and will be recorded as formally presented. Is everybody happy? I call Mr Graham Stuart to present his petition.

Normally at this time of night the House is emptying, not filling up. Instead, colleagues are coming into the Chamber because of their concern about the imposition of VAT on static caravans. If enacted, the Government’s proposal to impose VAT on static caravans will cost jobs. Only today, Willerby Holiday Homes, Britain’s largest caravan manufacturer, announced plans for 350 redundancies in anticipation of the tax rise. Jobs will be lost not only in manufacturing and the supply chain, but in the parks themselves, which employ 26,000 people directly across the country. I am grateful to Mr Speaker for allowing us half an hour this evening to present these petitions on behalf of so many constituencies across the country. Although I will read out the full text, Mr Deputy Speaker, you have asked that others do not do so.

In addition to presenting a petition on behalf of those in Beverley and Holderness, I am presenting petitions from the constituencies of: Birmingham, Northfield; Blackpool South; Blyth Valley; Bognor Regis and Littlehampton; Bridgwater and West Somerset; Carlisle; Christchurch; Clacton-on-Sea; Dwyfor Meirionnydd—I hope there are no more Welsh constituencies to trouble me; Eastleigh; Filton and Bradley Stoke; Forest Heath; Harwich and North Essex; Islwyn; Milton Keynes South; Montgomeryshire—I am confident about pronouncing that one; New Forest West; North Devon; North Norfolk; Poole; Rochdale; Selby and Ainsty—I am delighted to see my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Selby and Ainsty (Nigel Adams) in his seat and supporting this presentation; Shrewsbury and Atcham—I am also delighted to see my hon. Friend the Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham (Daniel Kawczynski) in his seat; South Dorset; South Down; Stirling; Tynemouth; Wells—I am delighted to see the hon. Member for Wells (Tessa Munt) in her seat; West Bromwich West; West Dorset; West Worcestershire; and Workington. Mr Deputy Speaker, you can tell the breadth and depth of concern about this issue.

The petition states:

The Petition of residents of Beverley and Holderness Constituency,

Declares that the Petitioners believe that levying VAT on static holiday caravans would cost thousands of jobs in caravan manufacturing, from their suppliers, and in the wider UK holiday industry; and notes that the Petitioners believe that such a levy would lose revenue for the Government.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to reverse its decision to levy VAT on static caravans.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

[P001027]

The following petitions were also presented:

The Petition of residents of Rochdale.

[P001060]

The Petition of residents of Christchurch,

[P001061]

The Petition of residents of West Bromwich West.

[P001062]

The Petition of residents of Dwyfor Meirionnydd.

[P001063]

The Petition of residents of Clacton on Sea.

[P001064]

The Petition of residents of South Down.

[P001065]

The Petition of residents of Bridgwater and West Somerset.

[P001066]

The Petition of residents of West Dorset.

[P001067]

The Petition of residents of Filton and Bradley Stoke.

[P001068]

The Petition of residents of Montgomeryshire.

[P001069]

The Petition of Residents of Ceredigion.

[P001070]

The Petition of Residents of Eastleigh.

[P001071]

The Petition of Residents of Selby and Ainsty.

[P001072]

The Petition of residents of Birmingham Northfield.

[P001073]

The Petition of residents of Poole.

[P001074]

The Petition of residents of Blyth Valley.

[P001075]

The Petition of residents of Bognor Regis and Littlehampton.

[P001076]

The Petition of residents of Forest Heath.

[P001077]

The Petition of residents of Carlisle.

[P001078]

The Petition of residents of South Dorset.

[P001079]

The Petition of residents of Tynemouth.

[P001080]

The Petition of residents of North Norfolk.

[P001081]

The Petition of residents of North Devon.

[P001082]

The Petition of residents of Stirling.

[P001083]

The Petition of residents of Harwich and North Essex.

[P001084]

The Petition of Residents of Blackpool South.

[P001085]

The Petition of residents of Workington.

[P001086]

The Petition of residents of Islwyn.

[P001087]

The Petition of residents of New Forest West.

[P001088]

The Petition of residents of Shrewsbury and Atcham.

[P001090]

The Petition of residents of Milton Keynes South.

[P001091]

The Petition of residents of Ludlow.

[P001092]

The Petition of residents of West Worcestershire.

[P001093]

I present a petition in the same terms as those presented by the hon. Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart), from constituents of mine at the Waren caravan park, Waren Mill, Bamburgh in the Berwick-upon-Tweed constituency. My constituents are deeply concerned about the impact not just on manufacturing, but on the holiday parks and caravan sites in whose business model sales are an important factor.

The Petition of residents of Waren Caravan Park, Waren Mill, Bamburgh, Northumberland.

[P001028]

I, too, present a petition, on behalf of the residents of the Brigg and Goole constituency, in the same terms as my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart).

The Petition of residents of Brigg and Goole.

[P001029]

Having voted against the imposition of VAT on static holiday caravans in the Budget resolution debate on 18 April, I have the privilege to present a petition in the same terms on behalf of residents of the Kettering constituency.

The Petition of residents of Kettering constituency.

[P001030]

I present this petition, on behalf of the residents of Wigan, in the same terms as the hon. Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart).

The Petition of residents of Wigan.

[P001031]

I present a petition in similar terms on behalf of residents of the Waveney constituency in Suffolk.

The Petition of residents of Waveney.

[P001032]

I have the great honour of presenting this petition in the same terms as my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart).

The Petition of residents of South Thanet.

[P001034]

I present this humble petition of residents of Wellingborough in Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas in the same terms as those that have already been presented and, in particular, because there is the significant manufacturing of such caravans in my constituency.

The Petition of residents of Wellingborough.

[P001037]

It is my privilege to present a petition in the same terms as those of my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart), who made it clear that this is being done to prevent enormous numbers of job losses around the country, with the highest concentration probably in East Yorkshire, not least in Haltemprice and Howden, on behalf of which I present this petition signed by 612 residents.

The Petition of residents of Haltemprice and Howden constituency.

[P001039]

I thank and congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart) on the way in which he has conducted his campaign. My constituency contains a large number of static caravan parks, and I therefore endorse all his remarks. It is my honour to present a petition on behalf of my constituents in Maldon.

The Petition of residents of Maldon.

[P001038]

I add my gratitude and thanks to my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart) for the effort he has made in representing the interests of this industry. In similar terms to the aforementioned petition, I have great pleasure in bringing to the House 400 signatures from the residents of Wyre Forest.

The Petition of residents of Wyre Forest.

[P001036]

In similar terms to those of the hon. Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart), I have pleasure in presenting a petition to this House on behalf of more than 1,000 residents of Delyn in north Wales—not only those associated with caravan parks but those associated with the fish and chip shops, pubs and supermarkets that serve them.

The Petition of residents of Delyn constituency.

[P001040]

I have pleasure in presenting a petition of 3,249 signatures from the residents of the constituency of Kingston upon Hull North, and also presenting, on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle (Alan Johnson), a petition signed by 1,788 of his constituents. This matter is of particular importance to both our constituencies owing to the manufacturing of caravans in the city of Hull.

The Petition of residents of Kingston upon Hull and East Yorkshire.

[P001044]

I present a petition in the same terms from the residents of Gower.

The Petition of residents of Gower.

[P001035]

I present a petition with 1,401 signatures on behalf of the residents of Kingston upon Hull East. This issue is terribly important and even more so today, with Willerby Holiday Homes announcing a consultation on redundancies for 350 staff as a direct result of what the Government plan to do.

The Petition of residents of East Hull constituency.

[P001042]

I present a petition in the same terms signed by 346 people who are residents of, or visitors to, Argyll and Bute. Owners of static caravans bring a great deal of money to Argyll and Bute, and many businesses in the constituency are very worried that the impact of this tax will mean a loss of revenue and a loss of jobs.

The Petition of residents of Argyll and Bute constituency, and others.

[P001043]

I present a petition in similar terms from the Isle of Wight, from 356 residents or visitors.

The Petition of residents of the Isle of Wight Holiday Parks.

[P001047]

It is my honour and privilege to prevent a “Stop Caravan Tax” petition of behalf of my constituents, in the same terms as that presented to the House by my friend the hon. Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart). In the wonderful villages of Bushmills and Ballycastle, and indeed in the Glens, caravan parks will potentially be destroyed by such a tax. As I voted against it, it is my honour to defend the rights of those villagers and prevent this tax on holidays.

The Petition of residents of North Antrim constituency.

[P001048]

I seek to present a petition signed by approximately 1,000 residents of East Yorkshire and beyond. It is in identical terms to that presented by my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart). My constituents who are petitioning agree with his, and I agree with him.

The Petition of residents of East Yorkshire.

[P001049]

I fervently wish to present a petition on behalf of my constituents in the beautiful county of Ayrshire, which depends heavily on tourism and will be most adversely affected if this measure goes through.

The Petition of residents of Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock.

[P001045]

I am delighted to present three petitions in similar terms to those presented by my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart), on behalf of residents of the Wood Park Caravans, Celtic Holiday Parks and Perran Sands parks and many other people in my constituency.

The Petition of residents of Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire constituency.

[P001052]

The Petition of residents of Perran Sands.

[P001053]

The Petition of residents of Wood Park Caravans.

[P001054]

My constituency has the most beautiful caravan sites in the country. I have the honour of presenting this petition on behalf of my constituents.

The Petition of residents of Hastings Rye constituency.

[P001055]

As a representative of Cleethorpes, which I have said on many occasions is the premier resort of the east coast, I am privileged to present this petition in similar terms to that presented by my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart).

The Petition of residents of Cleethorpes.

[P001056]

I present this petition on behalf of residents of Ceredigion in west Wales, in similar terms to that presented by the hon. Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart). In particular, I wish to bring to the House’s attention their concerns about job losses in the small business sector, which supports the tourism industry.

The Petition of residents of Ceredigion.

[P001051]

I have a petition here, “Stop the Caravan Tax”, signed by Scott Staniforth of 45 Vicar road, Wath, and others from my constituency. They see that the tax on static caravans could add £8,000 to the price of a caravan, price families out of their regular holiday and thwart many people’s ambition to own an affordable second home. They have therefore signed a petition in similar terms to that presented by the hon. Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart).

The Petition of residents of Wentworth and Dearne constituency.

[P001050]

In the 11 minutes remaining, I should like to deliver a petition on behalf of Mr Norman Bliss of the Lower Treave caravan park at Crows-An-Wra, near Penzance, in my west Cornwall and Isles of Scilly constituency, the premier holiday destination of the United Kingdom. In handing me this petition, the petitioners pointed out that the measure, far from resolving the anomaly that the Government said they had identified, created a new anomaly between static caravans and static bricks and mortar. I am proud and very pleased to support the hon. Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart) in his excellent campaign.

The Petition of residents of the St Ives constituency.

[P001058]

I am delighted to present a petition on behalf of my constituents in similar terms to that presented by my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr Stuart). Up to a quarter who signed the petition expect to lose their jobs if the proposal is not reversed.

The Petition of residents of Dewsbury.

[P001041]