Calls for government to cut VAT on sun cream
It’s a call retailers are keen to support too, in a bid to curb skin cancer rates and ensure good quality sun screen doesn’t sit on shelves at a cost too high for poorer families.
There is a real concern, the Guardian reports, that cash-strapped families will skimp on suncream this summer, with the standard 17.5% VAT rate making many brands seem too pricey.
Major retailer Superdrug is at the forefront of the campaign, where supports are lobbying the government for the VAT rate to be reduced to a more sensible 5%. To date more than 10,000 members of the public have supported the move by signing a petition.
Annually, 100,000 are diagnosed with skin cancer and more than 2,500 die from it. With 85% of skin cancer cases caused by sunburn, Cancer Research UK says the disease can be prevented if people protect their skin and seek early advice on “worrying” moles.
A new, free iPhone application launched this month should help those confused about suncreen and what will protect best. The EWG Sunscreen Buyer’s Guide aims to inform the consumer of the “top-rated sunscreens for broad-spectrum protection with fewer hazardous chemicals that penetrate the skin”
In Wales a campaign has be launched to give all children under 11 free suncream to prevent the future risk of skin cancer. It is thought funding suncream for Wales’ 250,000-plus under-11s will be considerably cheaper that the estimated £14m-a-year cost of treating the most serious forms of skin cancer. It’s hoped that by giving out free sunscreen its use will become second nature.
As the UK’s fastest growing cancer and the second biggest killer of young men under the age of 35, it seems only sensible that any measures which make it easier and cheaper to protect ourselves from the perils of UV-rays should be embraced wholeheartedly.
The Teenage Cancer Trust is a charity providing specialist services for teenage cancer sufferers. Find out more here. People’s Postcode Lottery funding organisation the People’s Postcode Trust last year gave £10,000 to the Teenage Cancer Trust‘s ‘Hair 4 U’ project, which offered every young cancer patient in Scotland the opportunity to have a real hair wig styled to resemble their natural hair and to give an aftercare service on how to care for their wig.