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DUP MP Carla Lockhart has called for the Treasury to urgently find a resolution to an issue with VAT on second-hand cars, that threatens to severely damage the motor trade in Northern Ireland. The Upper Bann MPhosted a meeting with NIO Minister Robin Walker MP and Treasury officials today, alongside local car dealers.

Carla Lockhart said:

“In recent weeks I have been working on behalf of local car dealers to press the Government to find a resolution to an issue that has the potential to devastate local car dealerships.

In essence the problem involves the payment of VAT on second-hand cars being based on sale price rather than the margin for sales in Northern Ireland. For dealers who bring the majority of cars from Great Britain to Northern Ireland for sale, this will effectively price them, and customers in Northern Ireland, out of the market.

I am pressing the Treasury and the Northern Ireland Office to find a resolution to this. It will require flexibility from the EU but as yet this has not been forthcoming. If a sensible agreement cannot be found, we will need the Government to act unilaterally.

Businesses and jobs are at risk and it is incumbent on the Government to resolve this and remove this threat hanging over the local car industry. I welcome the Minister’s desire to find a way forward and will continue to make representations on this issue in the coming days.”