Caravan Industry: Hull and East Riding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:23 pm on 15th June 2020.

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Photo of Karl Turner Karl Turner Shadow Minister (Justice) 9:23 pm, 15th June 2020

I congratulate my hon. Friend Emma Hardy on securing this incredibly important debate. I want to reiterate some of the points she made.

We are incredibly proud of the caravan manufacturing industry in our neck of the woods. Those jobs are incredibly good jobs and they pay very well. In 2008-09, despite the previous Labour Government’s interventions to mitigate the damage from the economic crash, we saw tens of thousands of job losses in our region. The reality is this: most of those jobs have not been replaced. We have had investment from Siemens, and a massive £350 million investment in offshore wind turbine manufacturing, which we are incredibly grateful for as well, but the reality is that once those jobs are lost, we often never see them replaced. The frank truth is that we simply cannot afford to lose these incredibly good, well-paid, skilled manufacturing jobs in our region. As my hon. Friend has said, 90% of all static caravans are manufactured in Hull and the East Riding, 50% of all tourer caravans are manufactured in our area, and 30% of all motor homes as well.

We have got not much of an ask for the Minister. We need support, and we are very grateful to the Government for the support and the interventions they have made already, but we need that flexibility in the job retention scheme to be extended for this unique and specific industry, and we need the Government to think carefully about the business rate relief grants as well.

We will get over this, with support from the Government. We only need to get into next year and then the industry will absolutely be booming once again. My wife mentioned to me earlier today that she does not intend going abroad on holiday for quite some time, and it is true that staycations are going to be the thing in the next year or two. So, Minister, I finish with a plea—