Tax on sunbeds in Wales proposed

A sunbed tax has been proposed in Wales by think tank The Bevan Foundation. 

The Welsh think tank set out the proposition in a report called Tax for Good: Devolved taxes for a better Wales.

It published a list of eight new taxes it thinks should be introduced in Wales by the Welsh Government, including a tax to make sunbed sessions more expensive and therefore dissuade people from using them.

The Bevan Foundation didn’t suggest an amount for the proposed tax, but director Victoria Winckler said to the BBC that it would need to be “fairly substantial” to put sunbed users off.

The report says the tax would operate as a sales tax, meaning it would be paid directly by customers on top of the cost of a sunbed session, and “would apply to both standalone sunbed salons and other businesses, such as hair salons, which offer sunbed services.” The tax would be applied to each session purchased and would be more expensive the longer the session.

The motivation behind the tax is to both reduce the number of people who use sunbeds and the frequency of sessions they have. In 2009 the Welsh Assembly’s Health, Wellbeing and Local Government Committee estimated that there were 400-500 tanning salons operating in Wales.