Save Our Salons founders outline next steps in fight for beauty industry VAT cut

The Save Our Salons (SOS) founders have outlined the next steps in their fight to get the struggling beauty industry a VAT cut during the coronavirus pandemic. 

After Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed in the Budget 2021 that the beauty sector wouldn’t be getting a VAT reduction due to the VAT coding change being too complex to administer, SOS are still fighting for VAT reform and have a plan in place to achieve it. 

In order to get this long-term VAT reform, SOS needs to better understand and overcome the complex legislative obstacles surrounding the VAT beauty pays as a sector. 

“We’ve started the ball rolling on this process. It’s difficult but not impossible. It starts with us putting together a robust business case to the Treasury that accurately represents the turning point we are at as VAT paying salon owners who collectively employ half of all people working in the sector,” said the SOS founders in a statement. 

How you can help achieve a VAT cut for the beauty industry:

SOS need your help – they would like you to fill out a survey to keep pushing Government to get a split rate of VAT like the Republic of Ireland has – paying less VAT on treatments but standard retail rate on goods.  

You can complete the survey here

SOS explained: “We need a level playing field when it comes to taxation. We need the Government to realise that we must be incentivised to retain our bricks and mortar premises and receive fair taxation on our labour-intensive output. Paying VAT at the same level as retail has never been fair for the hair and beauty industry. 

“We add value only though expertise, not goods. We predominantly sell people’s time, not products. Long term, we are arguing for a split rate of VAT like the Republic of Ireland has successfully achieved – paying less on services and standard retail rate on goods.”

What else has SOS been doing behind the scenes?

The group has been working hard to get the beauty industry heard. It has attended two All Party Parliamentary Meetings (APPG’s) with MPs for all political spectrums speaking about the crisis in our sector.  

At the APPG on Hairdressing, Barbering and Cosmetology, SOS spoke directly about the taxation challenges beauty faces as VAT paying salon owners. Attendees including the shadow chancellor Annalise Dobbs.

At the APPG Gaps in Support, SOS spoke about the crisis in the industry to a group co-chaired by Christina Rees MP, John McNally MP and Jamie Stone MP. Other MPs attending included Caroline Lucas (head of the Green Party).

Save Our Salons (SOS) was founded by a group of salon owners earlier this year. The founders include Hellen Ward, PB columnist and managing director of Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa; Gina Conway, who runs an eponymous chain; and Toby Dicker of The Chapel. 

Will you be filling out SOS’s survey? Tell us your thoughts below.