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Political Engagement

NCC’s goal is to help businesses of all sizes through this crisis whilst keeping employees safe, supply chains moving and businesses running. 

If you have queries in relation to the NCC’s lobbying activities, please email policy@thencc.org.uk.

Our political engagement

NCC writes to Ministers to ask for support for caravan industry

The NCC has written to Ministers at CLG, BEIS and DCMS to consider the caravan industry as a priority in the phased roadmap to recovery in England.

It was pointed out that the industry is a seasonal business with the start usually triggered by the Easter break.  The NCC asked for a clear indicator in the first phase of reopening when outdoor showrooms on caravan parks, dealerships and workshops would be allowed to reopen.   These measures will help to drive demand for domestic holidays and protect holiday businesses that are struggling to survive.

In addition, the NCC asked that in the spring Budget on 3 March, VAT be maintained at 5% for 2021, to incentivise people to rediscover the Great British Holiday.  The final request was that the business rates holiday be continued to protect businesses’ cash reserves, and for this to be extended to cover businesses that had hitherto fallen outside the eligibility criteria.

The NCC has also written along similar lines to selected MPs with members in their constituency.

VAT survey research results and campaign to cut tourism VAT

The Tourism Alliance and the NCC would like to thank everyone who participated in the pre-Christmas VAT Survey.

The Cut Tourism VAT campaign has analysed the results and the findings provide strong evidence that the reduction in VAT for hospitality and attractions has been invaluable in supporting businesses and protecting jobs. The key findings are:

  • More than 9 out of 10 respondents said that the VAT cut in July 2020 was ‘important’, ‘very important’ or ‘crucial’ to their business; over 75% said that they might not have been able to continue trading without it.
  • Most businesses used some of the VAT reduction to meet the additional costs of Covid-19 health & safety compliance. The next most important uses made of the cut were to pay wages and suppliers.

If the VAT rate reverts to 20% from April 2021, the overwhelming majority of businesses responded that it would lead to further cutbacks and job losses with 44% saying it would force workforce cuts of between 5% and 20%. Responses suggest that a further 310,000 jobs could be lost in addition to those already lost by December 2020.

However, if the VAT cut were to continue beyond March 2021, most operators would use it to continue to meet additional costs of Covid-19 compliance, but also to rebuild their businesses through investment and price reductions.

Read the Cut Tourism VAT Survey Report Dec20 here.

See the Cut Tourism VAT 2021 infographic here.

Reopening of dealerships and showrooms secured

NCC lobbying successes – dealerships, showrooms and a meeting with the Minister

The NCC was delighted to announce that leisure vehicle dealerships and distributors could to re-open, along with other non-essential retail businesses in England, from Monday 1 June.

The NCC’s Alicia Dunne commented: “We are very grateful to all those MPs who lent support. Particular thanks go to Richard Holden MP, who was instrumental in securing the decision that our sector could be included with car showrooms, confirmed by Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick MP.

This success was followed by confirmation that sales ‘showrooms’ on caravan parks in England could follow suit. Government clarified that “caravan parks can open up showroom / showground areas solely for the purpose of the sale of caravans. The remainder of the park and all other facilities should remain closed.”

Confirmation has now been received that caravan parks in England will be permitted to open from 4 July. 

Emma Hardy MP secures adjournment debate in the House; meeting secured with Business Minister

Emma Hardy, the MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle, secured an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on 15 June, to call for additional support for the caravan industry in Hull and Humberside. 

In an impassioned speech, Ms Hardy said: “Hull is the capital of caravan manufacturing in the UK, and the Hull MPs have a strong tradition of standing up for the sector.

“Like other businesses across the country, caravan manufacturers have benefited from the Government’s economic support measures … Unfortunately, all those measures have not been enough to alleviate sufficiently the pressure on the industry, and without further intervention, the future is stark. The position of caravan manufacturers sets them apart from others in the manufacturing sector, as they are entirely dependent on trade in the leisure and tourism sector.”

Using statistics from the NCC, she continued: “When lockdown began on 24 March, 3,361 caravan parks closed, along with 381 caravan dealerships. Restrictions on travel were introduced, and the public were ordered to stay at home. At a stroke, 2.4 million people were denied the use of their caravan, either static or towed. The result was that the entire caravan manufacturing industry came to an abrupt halt … 208 caravan manufacturers and 647 suppliers closed, and 90% of the workforce is currently furloughed.”

She was supported in the debate by Karl Turner MP (Kingston upon Hull East), while MPs from other areas of the country pointed out the importance not just of the caravan manufacturing industry, but also tourism, which it supports.

Ms Hardy asked Government to consider a package of measures to stimulate the industry, that it be eligible for Business Rates Relief, and for a flexible approach to ending the furloughing scheme, to avoid job losses later in the year.

Government’s response was made by Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi MP (Stratford-upon-Avon), who was complimentary about the industry, saying that he believed that “the medium to long term prospects for the caravan industry are strong, and there are exciting new opportunities for the industry, with  more families holidaying in the UK. The industry has shown that it can diversify its products to meet the changing demands of a new generation that wants to have that wonderful caravan holiday.”

While the Minister was not able to make any immediate promises, Mr Zahawi confirmed that he would be delighted to meet with the Hull MPs, the industry and the NCC. See the letter from Karl Turner MP requesting a meeting here.

The text of the debate can be found here.

Watch the debate (begins at 21:05).

The debate was widely covered in regional media, including BBC Look North, Hull Daily Mail, BBC Radio Humberside and on Twitter on 15 and 16 June.

Hull MPS write to the Chancellor in support of the caravan industry, asking for urgent action

MPs Karl Turner (Hull East), Emma Hardy (Hull West & Hessle) and Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North) have written to the Chancellor, the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP with a request for urgent support for the caravan manufacturing industry.

The letter states: “Contributing £9bn a year to the UK economy, the industry is heavily concentrated in Hull and East Yorkshire and is responsible for nearly 20,000 jobs in our region alone. As outlined in our letter to the Prime Minister on 20th May 2020, the market for sales is overwhelmingly seasonal. With businesses reliant on trade between March-August, there is a serious risk of collapse without further support for the sector.

“Like businesses across the country, caravan manufacturers have benefited from the Government’s economic support measures, including the Job Retention Scheme (furlough) and Business Interruption Loan Scheme. However, their position is unique, being entirely dependent on trade in the leisure and tourism sector but not eligible for sector-specific support.

“… livelihoods depend on the survival of this industry, as does the post-pandemic economic recovery of our city. We therefore urge you to consider all proposals to support this essential element of our regional economy and take urgent action.”

See the full text of the letter here.

South Derbyshire MP supports calls for caravan businesses to re-open

South Derbyshire Conservative MP, Heather Wheeler, is supporting calls from two of her local businesses to re-open caravan holiday parks and, by extension, the whole caravan manufacturing and supply chain industry.

Heather Wheeler MP, who has Truma Ltd and Don Amott Caravans & Motorhomes within her constituency, commented: “The caravan industry, is one of the UK’s manufacturing success stories and crucially is a seasonal business with the prime selling period between March and August. The impact of COVID-19 has been to effectively close the industry before the summer season opened. Like other industries the longer businesses in the supply chain are not permitted to reopen, the greater the risk of businesses failures and substantial redundancies.”

Heather continued: “There is a great future for camping, caravan and motorhome holidays in the UK. Potentially staycationing will never be more appealing and rules on holiday parks on distances between pitches ensure social distancing. The economic value of the public taking UK holidays is very important but we need the parks and dealerships to be allowed to open as soon as it is safe to do so to unlock the rest of the supply chain.”

More on this story here.

To Number 10 and beyond

The NCC has been putting the industry’s point of view to the PM, the Chancellor and other politicians at the highest level, including the Secretaries of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, Housing, Communities and Local Government and Culture Media and Sport, as well as the Tourism Minister and Minister for Business and Industry.

Read the NCC’s letter to the Chancellor here.

If you have queries in relation to the NCC’s lobbying activities, please email policy@thencc.org.uk.

Government has published its PLAN TO REBUILD: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.

Key points are that all workers who cannot work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open. Sectors of the economy that are allowed to be open should open – this includes construction, manufacturing and logistics.

Government is requiring workplaces such as hospitality and non-essential retail to currently remain closed.  The intention is for re-opening ‘to happen in phases from 1 June; the Government will issue further guidance shortly on the approach that will be taken to phasing, including which businesses will be covered in each phase and the timeframes involved’.

Accommodation and leisure facilities, which should meet the CODIF-10 guidelines, will open no earlier than 4 July.

The full plan can be read here.

Webinar with Nigel Huddleston MP, Tourism Minister: key take-aways

In a webinar organised by UK Inbound on 28 April 2020, Nigel Huddleston MP talked to senior representatives of the UK’s tourism industry, including the NCC’s Deputy Director General, Alicia Dunne, about the current lockdown situation. She reports that the Minister commented:

  • Government has made a lot of assistance available to businesses.
  • In response to a question about extending furloughing beyond June, Huddleston replied that ‘clarification will follow in the next couple of weeks’ (i.e. on how long this could/should be extended by).
  • Government is now looking at a recovery programme, and having conversations with industry bodies. ‘We understand businesses need to know, if it is not now, then WHEN? While this applies to many sectors, for hospitality and leisure, it is pivotal.’
  • There will be clarification within a couple of weeks; what will happen beyond that will be informed by information from the tourism industry.
  • The G20 tourism ministers met last Friday – Government is monitoring closely what other countries are doing and the policies they are developing.
  • Government is looking at how sub sectors of the tourism industry can manage social distancing – certain sectors may be able to deal with this in a practical way, where others might struggle.

For more information on how the NCC is working for its parks members in the current challenging times, email policy@thencc.org.uk.

NCC asks members to tell Government about the impact of Coronavirus

The DCMS Select Committee has launched an inquiry on the impact of Coronavirus on all sectors under DCMS’s remit (i.e. tourism). In particular, the Committee is interested in finding out:

  • What has been the immediate impact of Covid-19 on your sector?
  • How effectively has the support provided by DCMS, other Government departments and arms-length bodies addressed the sector’s needs?
  • What will the likely long-term impacts of Covid-19 be on your sector, and what support is needed to deal with those?
  • What lessons can be learnt from how DCMS, arms-length bodies and the sector have dealt with Covid-19?
  • How might the sector evolve after Covid-19, and how can DCMS support such innovation to deal with future challenges?

The deadline for written evidence is Friday 19 June 2020.

Follow this link to respond directly – please see the notes regarding confidentiality.

Tourism Alliance writes to Chancellor

On 3 April, the Tourism Alliance, of which the NCC is a member, wrote to the Chancellor regarding the importance of the tourism industry, and the difficulties that the current lockdown restrictions were presenting.  Read the letter here.

NCC supports the Tourism Alliance’s Don’t Cancel, Postpone campaign.  It is vitally important that holidaymakers are encouraged to choose the UK when the current travel restrictions are lifted. UKCCA research shows the holiday park and campsite sector contributes £9.3 billion in revenue and supports over 170,000 FTE jobs in the UK in tourism alone.

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) and motorhomes/campervans

In summer 2019, the NCC began a campaign to reclassify new generation motorhomes for the purposes of VED.  The duty on new, greener vehicles was increased by 705% due to a change in regulations on 1 September last year.  In the spring Budget in 2020, the NCC succeeded in getting this tax hike reversed, thereby ensuring that motorhomes were no longer taxed as cars. 

Read more here.