Sunscreens: VAT

Treasury written question – answered on 3rd September 2020.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady SNP Chief Whip

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of (a) the adequacy of the classification of sunscreen as a cosmetic product and (b) the potential merits of reducing the rate of VAT applied to sun protection products.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Government's approach is to support safety campaigns that place sunscreen within its proper context; as a precaution that people can take against the sun, but that does not provide 100 per cent protection. While sun protection products have a role to play in skin safety, it is important that people do not rely on sunscreen alone.

VAT raises a significant amount of revenue and plays an important part in funding the Government's public spending priorities. Any application of a reduced rate would have to be balanced against this. The Government keeps all taxes under constant review.

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