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Salon owners urged to unite in new MP-focused campaign to slash VAT

Gaelle Walker
25 January 2021

Hair and beauty salon owners across the country are being urged to unite in a new campaign calling on their local MPs for an emergency VAT reduction to 5% for all personal care businesses, many of whom are skirting financial ruin as a result of ongoing Covid19 restrictions.

The new MP focused Save Our Salons (SOS) campaign follows on from the #ChopTheVAT campaign launched in 2020 with the backing of professional trade bodies.

Salon owners who sign up to the ‘Save Our Salons’ campaign can access a raft of material including a directory of MPs, with their full contact details, template letters to MPs that set out the argument for the VAT cut, fact sheets and social media imagery.

According to the SOS campaign, the personal care industry is one of the most taxed by percentage on the high-street.

Most salons trade at between 3% and 5% profit -or £3 to £5 for every £100.

For every £100 of revenue, a reduction in VAT to 5% would add £12 to salon takings – a “lifesaver for all VAT-paying salons,” the campaign states.

A recent survey of 5,000 salons by the National Hair and Beauty Federation found that 62% were unsure if their businesses would survive past the end of the financial year, with 18% sure they would close.

The consequent social poverty for those who work within them, in particular women, will be a huge social casualty, with many having to fall back on benefits. 88.6%33 of this sector’s workforce are female, the SOS campaign added.

Speaking out in support of the campaign, Hellen Ward managing director of the Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa in London, said: “It’s never been so important for every salon owner to unite and do something positive to ensure our hair and beauty salons, nail bars and barber shops can survive this pandemic.

“As a service industry it’s never been fair for us to pay VAT which is an input/output tax on the critical services we provide to high streets all over the UK,” she added.

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