Questions in the House regarding extending the reduced VAT rate and accessing caravans

10, March 2021

The following question was answered on Tuesday 9 March 2021

Q: Mr Alistair Carmichael (MP for Orkney and Shetland): If his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of making permanent the five per cent reduced rate of VAT for the tourism and hospitality sector.

A. Jesse Norman (MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire) responded: “The temporary reduced rate of VAT was introduced on 15 July to support the cash flow and viability of about 150,000 businesses and to protect over 2.4 million jobs in the hospitality and tourism sectors. As announced at Budget, this relief will now run until 31 March 2022, with a staggered return to the standard rate. Applying this relief permanently would come at a significant cost to the Exchequer, and that cost would have to be balanced by increased taxes elsewhere, or reductions in Government spending.

A written answer was given by Rebecca Pow (MP Taunton Deane) on Tuesday 9 March to a query regarding access to boats, but her response also referenced caravans:

“Non-essential travel is not permitted anywhere in England during the national lockdown, and while the regulations around essential travel do include some exemptions … they also allow people to leave home exceptionally to secure their second home, caravan or boat to avoid it posing a risk of harm or injury to themselves or others.

“From 29 March, people will no longer be legally required to Stay at Home, but should continue to minimise travel wherever possible and should not be staying away from home overnight at this stage.”

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