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Sunscreens: VAT

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 15 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what discussions he has had with the Treasury on the effects on the level of use of sun protection products for (a) children and (b) adults of the rate of value added tax charged on such products; (247083)

(2) what guidance his Department issues to (a) parents in respect of their children and (b) adults on the use of sun protection lotions; and if he will make a statement.

The Government keep taxes under review and introduce reduced VAT rates only where they offer the best targeted and most cost-effective support for its objectives. The Government also work in partnership with Cancer Research UK, which runs SunSmart, the national skin cancer prevention and sun protection campaign, on behalf of the UK Health Departments. The campaign aims to raise awareness and provide information on the risks to health related to ultraviolet radiation exposure.

To enjoy the sun safely, the SunSmart code recommends:

S pend time in the shade between 11 and 3;

M ake sure you never burn;

A im to cover up with a hat, t-shirt and sunglasses;

R emember to take extra care with children; and

T hen use factor 15+ sunscreen or higher.

Further information about sunscreen advice is available on the Cancer Research UK website at: