Static Caravans (Vat)
David Gauke (Exchequer Secretary, HM Treasury; South West Hertfordshire, Conservative)
I congratulate my hon. Friend Mr Stuart on securing this debate. He has already made his case to me, leading a delegation of MPs to see me on
Let me begin with some general points to put the measure in context. Removing the zero rate of VAT from static holiday caravans is one of a series of VAT measures announced in the Budget that are designed to make the VAT system fairer to all traders and easier to administer and comply with. It will help to create a level playing field by ensuring that all holiday caravans are taxed in line with the sale of other forms of holiday accommodation that have restrictions on permanent occupation, such as touring caravans, camper vans, narrowboats, timeshares and new holiday homes.
Let me address two issues that were raised in my hon. Friend’s speech and in interventions. The first relates to revenue and costings, the second to the impact on businesses. First, the conventions used in the Treasury’s policy costings were set out in the 2010 Budget policy costings document. In brief, policy costings take account
of direct effects on the tax base, but do not include indirect behavioural effects—for example, on employment, wages and salaries, or general consumption. However, the indirect economic effects are not ignored; instead, they are captured in the Office for Budget Responsibility’s economic forecast, taking into account, for example, the changes on the relevant sectors.