Why should sunscreen be exempt from VAT?
Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun. There are 16,000 new cases of melanoma diagnosed each year across the UK, with 2,300 people dying. 90% of cases of melanoma could be prevented by staying safe in the sun. That is why the NHS advises people to use sunscreen that is SPF 30 or above with at least a 4 star UVA protection rating.
However, while the NHS is doing a valiant job at raising awareness, the UK government is not playing its part. Sunscreen products are subject to VAT. This leads people to risk sun exposure completely unprotected, or to buy cheaper products that do not provide the necessary protection.
That is why Amy is calling for this simple change. Not only could it save lives, but it would also help protect NHS budgets.
8th September 2022
20th September 2022
10th November 2022
4th February 2023
9th February 2023
9th February 2023
21st February 2023
9th May 2023
9th May 2023
24th November 2023
Amy submitted a written question to the UK government to ask ministers to consider removing VAT from sunscreen. The minister refused this request.
Amy coordinated a cross-party letter to the former chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, calling for VAT to be removed from sunscreen. This was supported by 48 MPs from every major UK political party. Again, the UK government refused to consider this suggestion.
Given the recent change in government, Amy wrote to the new chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, calling on him to consider this policy change. She highlighted that as a former health secretary and former chair of the health select committee, he should be aware of the importance of skin health.
Public launch of campaign. After months of parliamentary activity and securing the support of key charities, Amy will publicly launch the campaign on World Cancer Day, an international awareness day to encourage the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer.
Parliamentary drop-in event. This was an opportunity for MPs to show their support for the campaign.
Amy led a backbench debate on reforming VAT on sunscreen products.
First reading of Amy's Sun Protection Products (Value Added Tax) Bill.
Drop-in event at the Scottish Parliament. This was an opportunity to build support for the campaign among MSPs.
Debate in the Scottish Parliament, with the Scottish Government throwing its support behind Amy's VAT Burn Campaign.
Melanoma Focus drop-in event at Westminster.
Second reading of Amy's Sun Protection Products (Value Added Tax) Bill.
Charities back this campaign
Skcin is the UK's leading skin cancer awareness charity specialising in the prevention and early detection of skin cancer through educational intervention.
Melanoma Focus is a national charity dedicated to providing help and support to melanoma patients and professionals as well as raising awareness of melanoma.
Melanoma UK is a patient support group set up to raise awareness of the causes of Melanoma skin cancer.
The charity that helps children and young people and their families find the strength to face cancer.
Melanoma Action and Support Scotland (MASScot) is Scotland’s only skin cancer-specific charity.
Teenage Cancer Trust offers unique care and support, designed for and with young people.
Commitment from retailers
Amy is asking retailers to commit to passing on the VAT reduction to consumers, should she be successful with this campaign.
So far, Morrisons have made this commitment.
If you are a retailer and would like to make a similar commitment, you can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org