British Beauty Council gets top hairdressers’ backing for its ‘Chop the VAT’ campaign

The salon industry is urging the UK government to reduce tax on hairdressing and barbering

Some of the UK’s leading hairdressers have teamed up with the British Beauty Council to campaign for a cut in VAT to boost the country’s struggling salon industry.

Adam Reed, Luke Hersheson, John Vial, George Northwood, Nicola Clarke, Joshua Miller, Charlotte Mensah and Josh Wood are among the celebrity salon owners urging the UK government to #ChopTheVAT payable by hairdressing businesses from 20% to 5%.

This type of financial stimulus has already been granted to the UK’s hospitality sector.

Salons were among the last businesses in the UK to re-open after lockdown despite being staffed by professionals who routinely adopt strict hygiene standards and who have introduced a wide range of additional measures to ensure they are Covid-secure.

Social distancing measures are said to have had a severe impact on businesses, with most salons currently trading at less than 50% of their pre-Covid turnover.

“For the four to six months that salons were closed, it cost salons enormous amounts of money. We were closed for the longest amount of time but had the least amount of government help as we didn’t receive a VAT reduction like the hospitality industry,” said Luke Hersheson from Hershesons hair salons.

Those behind the campaign say reducing the rate of VAT on hairdressing and barbering would provide welcome long term relief for salon owners and employers, where wages are the highest cost of doing business and there is little scope for claiming VAT back on products.

Millie Kendall MBE, CEO of the British Beauty Council, commented: “If the government can support hospitality through Eat Out to Help Out, and give them a VAT reduction, what can they do for hairdressing?

“This is an industry that contributes billions to GDP. Hairdressers are determined entrepreneurs, investing in their own businesses to establish their own financial security and that of their families.

“In short, they are exactly the sort of people we need to rebuild the economy, which is why we need to protect their businesses now and into the future.”

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