THOUGHTS FROM THE ISLAND’S MP by Andrew Turner

THOUGHTS FROM THE ISLAND’S MP by Andrew Turner

VAT Decision – ‘Good for the Island’

Being one of 650 MPs, and on the back benches, is not a position of great power. Of course my vote counts and I have a good voting record – but it is hard to make things happen on your own. However, as part of a group, you can sometimes make a difference. There is strength in numbers - as shown in the House of Commons recently.

Early in May I was visited by a number of Holiday Park owners. They came to tell me of their grave concerns over the proposed 20% VAT levy on static caravans. They were very concerned about the implications, not only for their own businesses but the Island economy as a whole. Fewer people visiting the Island would clearly have a knock-on effect.

I was handed a petition of 356 names, both Islanders and visitors, by Phill De Beer, general manager of Nodes Point Holiday Park in Seaview and Simon Spinney, general manager of Lower Hyde and Landguard Park in Shanklin. I took this to Westminster and was one of 34 MPs presenting similar petitions on the 22nd May – to my memory a record number. One week later, on 29th May, the Government demonstrated they were listening to public opinion and announced they were cutting the rate from 20% to 5% and deferring it until May 2013,

This is a good outcome for the Island and other tourist areas, so I am grateful to the 10 holiday park owners who took the time to come and let me know about their concerns.

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