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VAT on Sunscreen

Volume 699: debated on Wednesday 21 July 2021

The petition states:

The petition of residents of the constituency of North Ayrshire and Arran,

Declares that sunscreen should be reclassified as an essential healthcare item and be exempted from VAT due to the vital role it plays in preventing serious health conditions such as skin cancer; notes that sunscreen is currently classified as a cosmetic product in the UK and is therefore subject to 20% VAT, which adds around £1.50 to the cost of each bottle; further that Cancer Research UK has concluded that being sunburnt once every two years can triple the risk of melanoma skin cancer, and that melanoma skin cancer incidence rates have more than doubled in the UK since the early 1990s; further that 90% of cases of melanoma skin cancer are preventable by being sun safe; further that research conducted by Tesco found that 57% of UK adults think sunscreen is too expensive and 29% said they would wear it daily if it was a little cheaper, with 31% of parents surveyed stating that they cannot always afford to apply sunscreen to the whole family, often deciding to apply it only to their children.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to remove VAT on sunscreen to make it more affordable and to encourage people to protect themselves from the harmful effects of the sun.

And the petitioners remain, etc.