My response to my MP

Using the templates from the “Save our Salons” I thought I would freestyle a little almost to predict the generic response I would get from my mp.

VAT on timed services are unjust limit growth. My sector believe that hair & beauty should not be in retail sector but health & wellness. Therefore not only would we be allowed to remain open but we would also be VAT exempt. During future pandemics. I have not seen one argument that justifies why a salon professional should be penalised in the way they have been.

The hairdressing, beauty and holistic service industry:

  • Contributes *£9.2bn annually to Britain’s economy, employing a workforce of 288,160 people as hair and beauty practitioners in salons and in a self-employed capacity within the UK. (*Source: British Beauty Council / ONS 2019)
  • Represents *44,800 VAT and PAYE registered salons in the UK generating £5.4bn annually and employing 189,269 staff. Of this, £3.25bn turnover is generated by 12,300 VAT registered salons who in turn employ 94,686 staff. (*Source: ONS March 2020)
  • Generates approximately one-third tax take for HMRC as a proportion of sales (as value is primarily added via the employed workforce)
  • Enables flexible working patterns to support family life, increasing economic opportunities and entrepreneurship for women. *88.6% of this sector’s workforce are female. (*Source: Economic Impact Assessment – Hair and Barber Council)
  • Provides numerous apprenticeship opportunities to help young people into work
  • Underpins the ‘human’ high street; attracting footfall of millions of consumers per day to retail centres, provides a community hub, supports other local retail while promoting personal wellbeing and essential emotional support at times of crisis

In a recent survey of 5,000 salons, 62% were unsure if their businesses would survive past the end of the financial year. It was further reported that 18% were sure they would close. (Source: National Hair and Beauty Federation – Survey 2nd Dec 2020). The consequent social poverty for those who work within them, will be a huge social casualty, with many having to fall back on benefits. Where do you think these newly unemployed workers take their skills? Off the grid and therefore contributing ZERO in tax returns for the recovery process. It’s really that simple. Do nothing and force people underground or do something and bring our industry in line with others in the health & wellness sector.

Another taxing point I would like to make is that time based services cannot mitigate inflation. This is due to the fact that technological improvements do not bring down the time cost of one of our services. Unlike a physical retailer or manufacturer of products. They are armed with a number of options to help preserve their cost-effectiveness and profit margins.

a) Efficiency advances in technology that help lower costs.

b) Exchange expensive ingredients for cheaper ones in order to lower costs.

c) Minimise the gross weight of the product while keeping the price the same.

The above are all tools that a manufacturer/retailer has in it’s armoury to remain solvent. I hope I have clearly outlined this as the main argument as to why Hair & Beauty should not be lumped into the retail sector. I think you could articulate this argument in parliament.

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