[Updated] The latest on the Save Our Salons campaign to get VAT cuts

As beauty salons and mobile therapists in England and Wales reopen, the Save Our Salons Campaign reveals the latest on why it’s still as important as ever for the beauty and hair industry to get VAT support and reform from the UK Government.

Complete this survey relating to your business and VAT right now to show your continued support for the Save Our Salons Campaign.

What’s the latest on the Save Our Salons Campaign as beauty salons reopen?

The campaign didn’t achieve its goal to get the VAT for hair and beauty salons cut in the March budget in line with the cuts available to the hospitality industry, however the founders are keen to get long-term VAT reform to protect the hair and beauty industry for years to come.

The founders said: "After once again being overlooked and misunderstood in the March budget, we were told that we didn’t get the VAT reduction due to VAT coding change being too complex to administer. However, we know that this is only partly true. we need VAT reform and we need it now. just because we didn’t get the result in the budget doesn’t mean we can’t get the result; fiscal changes are made outside the scope of the budget all the time."

For the beauty industry and the Save Our Salons campaign to achieve a long-term VAT reform it is important to understand and overcome the complex legislative obstacles surrounding the VAT paid by the sector.

The Save Our Salons Campaign founders said: "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."

The campaign founders believe the hair and beauty sector need a level playing field when it comes to taxation. They point out the UK Government needs to realise salon owners must be incentivised to retain bricks and mortar premises and receive fair taxation on labour-intensive output.

Paying VAT at the same level as retail has never been fair for the hair and beauty industry. Salons add value only though expertise and not goods.

Beauty therapists predominantly sell people’s time – not products. Long term, the Save Our Salons campaign is arguing for a split rate of VAT like the Republic of Ireland has successfully achieved – paying less on services and a standard retail rate on goods.

Since salons began to reopen this month, the Save Our Salons campaign has been meeting with a number of officials to speak up for the beauty industry:

  • SOS attended two All Party Parliamentary Meetings (APPG’s) with MP’s from all political spectrums speaking about the crisis in our sector:
  • APPG on Hairdressing, Barbering and Cosmetology – Speaking directly about the taxation challenges we face as VAT paying salon owners. Attendees including the shadow chancellor Annalise Dobbs
  • APPG Gaps in Support – Guest speaking about the crisis in the industry to a group co-chaired by Christina Rees MP and John McNally MP and Jamie Stone MP. Other MP’s attending included Caroline Lucas (Head Green Party).
  • Meeting Greg Hands, Paul Sculley – Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets.
  • Discussions with John McNally, MP, Laura Trott MP and Emily Thornbury MP
  • Ongoing discussions with representatives of all the main trade bodies representing our industries and attendance on committees
  • Discussions with Caroline Nokes MP – chair of Women & Equalities Committee
  • SOS meeting with the head of  the BEIS Personal Care Sector team – the chief advisors to government for our sector.

Save Our Salons said: “And we aren’t stopping there.  VAT paying salon owners need proper representation. We want to galvanise salon owners and create a united force for positive change. We will continue to fight until our industry is on a level playing field and has the respect it deserves. Have your voice heard by helping us.”

How can your help the campaign get long term VAT reform

The Save Our Salons Campaign founders need your help once again to give the departments who influence Government decision making including the head of the new Personal Services Sector at the BEIS (Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy) as much information as possible. All you need to do is complete this survey relating to your business and VAT right now.

What is the Save Our Salons Campaign?

The Save Our Salons campaign is a voice for change within the hairdressing and beauty industry. It is founded by hair and beauty salon owners including Hellen Ward at Richard Ward Hair & Spa, Toby Dicker at The Chapel, Luke Hersheson at Hersheson’s, Stephen Nurse at Daniel Galvin and Kim Clayton at Errol Douglas London.

The campaign did not succeed with its original aim of getting a VAT cut in the Spring Budget 2021 but it has achieved a number of objectives and will continue to fight for the industry.

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