MORECAMBE MP David Morris has defended the Government’s decision to change its mind over a VAT rise for sales of park homes during a fiery exchange on Sky News.
Speaking to presenter Kay Burley last Tuesday afternoon, Mr Morris said the Chancellor’s climbdown on the issue was “not a U-turn”.
George Osborne was set to announce a retreat on controversial plans to levy VAT at 20 per cent on the sale of static caravans, instead making them subject to just five per cent.
Mr Morris told Sky News he had voted against the Government’s initial plans for a VAT rise but praised Mr Osborne for “listening to what the public want”.
When Ms Burley repeatedly asked for his opinion on U-turns, Mr Morris said: “This is not a U-turn. This is public consultation.
“My constituents, the caravan park owners, backed my decision, they were exemplary.
“The Chancellor told me ‘I will sort it out’ and he has done.
“Strong governments listen to their people.
“We have to sort out the mess the last government left us in.”
Mr Osborne has also gone back on plans to tax hot snacks such as pasties after an outcry amongst opposition and Tory MPs including Mr Morris, who also voted against the infamous “pasty tax”.
Meanwhile Nigel Wimpenny, managing director of South Lakeland Parks, welcomed the Government backing down over park homes.
Mr Wimpenny said: “As soon as this tax was proposed, we knew that the figures just didn’t add up.
“The Treasury’s own somewhat reserved estimates of a 30 per cent drop in the sales of caravans would have impacted upon thousands of direct and indirect jobs across the country, particularly in rural areas like the Lake District.”