Speaking in Parliament this week, Hull East MP Karl Turner described the measure, which only applies to new motorhomes fitted with cleaner Euro 6d TEMP engines, as a “cigarette pack policy”. He likened it to former chancellor George Osborne’s imposition of VAT on static caravans in 2013, which he said had already decimated that industry.
However Treasury Minister Simon Clarke said he had already met with the National Caravan Council in October to discuss the issue. He said the changes remained “under review” but he added that the government needed to “incentivise the production of low emission vehicles”.
Asked by New Forest MP Sir Desmond Swayne whether the government’s determination to follow an EU-led policy would change once Britain had left the EU, Mr Clarke said that was unlikely.
The Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce has also stepped into the fray. In a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid this week, chairman Dr Ian Kelly said research by his organisation, which covers an area on both sides of the Humber where many motorhome manufacturers are located, showed that many companies were facing tough times. “With the motorhome industry being not only a major local employer, but also a source of substantial tourism revenue for the UK, we feel that this poorly judged 700% increase should be reconsidered urgently,” he said.
The NCC says UK motorhome sales had been growing up to September 2019 – when the change was introduced – when they suffered a 7.3% fall. It is now encouraging motorhome owners to write to their MP to ask them to support the campaign at www.fairhomotorhometax.org.
When the change was introduced - sales suffered a 7.3% fall