Caravan Industry: Hull and East Riding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:28 pm on 15th June 2020.

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Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 9:28 pm, 15th June 2020

I would be delighted to meet them. I am happy to arrange it as soon as possible. After the debate, I will ask my officials to reach out to the hon. Gentleman to make sure that we get that done. The hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle is equally welcome to join the meeting, as are all colleagues here.

The Government have introduced the business rates holiday for businesses in the retail and leisure sector, irrespective of rateable value, which means that all eligible businesses will pay no business rates for 12 months. That means that properties used by caravan parks and sites are eligible for that relief. This support is worth almost £10 billion to business, and an estimated 350,000 businesses have benefited from it. For the billing authority of Hull and East Riding, this support is worth £82 million to business, and about 3,500 businesses have benefited. I must pay tribute to the leadership of the local authority for getting that money out of the door. They have done a phenomenal job, and I thank all those in the authority for it.

The hon. Lady mentioned a range of other stimuli, and we can look at what is happening in other parts of the world, including perhaps a caravan scrappage scheme, the accelerated capital write-down and the value added tax measures that she mentioned. Those are all interesting proposals, but the hon. Lady will understand that I cannot give any policy commitments now, or indeed speculate on or prejudge any further Budget announcement by the Chancellor. She will, I am sure, agree that that is way above my pay grade.

As we come through the current crisis, as we will, I have no doubt that the caravan industry in Hull and East Yorkshire, and the rest of the United Kingdom, can look to a bright future. It will be important that the sector innovates and responds to customers’ high standards and aspirations, as it has done in the past. It will do so again to fully exploit that market potential. I have no doubt that the industry will rise to that challenge.

Finally, I thank the hon. Lady and other colleagues for engaging in this very important debate on a very important sector.

Question put and agreed to.

9.44 pm

House adjourned.