Skin cancer rates could be cut and thousands of lives saved if VAT is removed from sunscreen, says Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.

Statistics from the British Skin Foundation state that at least 100,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, with the disease killing over 2,500 people each year in the UK. And the estimated cost to the NHS of treating skin cancer is expected to total over £180 million in 2020.

Toby Perkins said, “Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers, but is also one of the most preventable. Using a sunscreen that is higher than SPF-30 or SPF-50 can massively reduce the risk of skin cancer. I am sure a lot of people will not even realise that VAT is charged on sunscreen, but a quirk in the system wrongly designates it as a cosmetic product. Sunscreens aren’t cheap and many people will be put off by the price. By removing VAT and lowering the cost by 20%, particularly in times when some people are very stretched financially, could increase the usage of sunscreen and save lives.”

Toby has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to request an urgent review of VAT regulations and the removal of VAT on sunscreen products.

Toby added, “The devastation that cancer causes is something that almost every family will have had some experience of. I hope the Government will listen and take this relatively small, simple step to save lives.”

Toby Perkins MP
Toby Perkins MP
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