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Classify sunscreen as VAT exempt.

Submitted on Wednesday 3rd August 2011

Published on Wednesday 10th August 2011

Current status: Closed

Closed: Friday 10th August 2012

Signatures: 78

Tagged with

Children ~ Drugs ~ England ~ NHS ~ UK

Petition Action

Classify sunscreen as VAT exempt.

Additional Information

Every year around 90,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with skin cancer. Around 2,600 people die annually from the disease. 

In England alone the total cost of skin cancer treatment for the NHS is in excess of £190 million. In addition to this are the wider, and probably greater, economic implications of people being sick and dying.

VAT is not charged on prescription drugs yet is charged on sunscreen - a product that can and does save lives. 

Given that  sunscreen costs upwards of £5 a bottle many people simply do not bother. Many of those that do use it sparingly to make it last longer rather than reapplying as often as recommended. This is particularly worrying when it comes to children from poorer backgrounds. It is proven that over-exposure to sun in the early years increase the likelihood of skin cancer in later life. 

We the undersigned propose that sunscreen of factor 15+ (the minimum strength recommended by the NHS) is classified as VAT exempt. 


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