SNP MP urges UK Government to scrap VAT on sunscreen to prevent skin cancer

SNP MP Amy Callaghan has warned that melanoma skin cancer cases will rise if the UK Government does not remove VAT on sunscreen products. She said that sunscreen is a “necessity, not a luxury” and called for it to be exempt from the 20% tax.

Sunscreen is a ‘lifesaver’ for people with fair skin

Callaghan, who represents East Dunbartonshire, said that she was diagnosed with melanoma at the age of 19 and had to undergo several surgeries and treatments. She said that sunscreen is a “lifesaver” for people with fair skin like her, who are more prone to sunburn and skin damage.

She said that sunscreen is not a cosmetic product, but a medical one, and that it should be treated as such by the tax system. She said that many people cannot afford to buy sunscreen regularly, especially during the summer months, and that this puts them at risk of developing skin cancer.

She said that the UK Government should follow the example of other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, where sunscreen is either tax-free or has a reduced rate of VAT. She said that this would make sunscreen more accessible and affordable for everyone, and that it would also raise awareness of the importance of sun protection.

Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK

According to Cancer Research UK, melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, with around 16,200 new cases diagnosed each year. It is also the most common cancer in young adults aged 15 to 34, and the second most common in those aged 25 to 49.

SNP MP urges UK Government to scrap VAT on sunscreen to prevent skin cancer

Melanoma is caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or artificial sources, such as sunbeds. UV radiation can damage the DNA in skin cells, causing them to grow out of control and form tumours. Melanoma can spread to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, lungs, liver and brain, and can be fatal if not treated early.

The main way to prevent melanoma is to avoid getting sunburnt and to use sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) and broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen should be applied generously and frequently, especially after swimming or sweating. Other sun safety measures include wearing a hat, sunglasses and clothing that covers the skin, and seeking shade during the hottest part of the day.

Callaghan has launched a petition to support her campaign

Callaghan has launched a petition on the UK Parliament website to support her campaign to remove VAT on sunscreen. The petition states that “sunscreen is essential for preventing skin cancer, especially for those with fair skin or a family history of melanoma. It is not a luxury item, but a medical necessity, and should be exempt from VAT like other medical products.”

The petition has so far gathered over 1,500 signatures, and needs 10,000 to receive a response from the UK Government, and 100,000 to be considered for a debate in Parliament. The petition will run until May 28, 2023.

Callaghan said that she hopes that her petition will gain enough support to pressure the UK Government to change its policy on sunscreen taxation. She said that she believes that this is a “simple and sensible” change that could save lives and reduce the burden on the NHS.

By Ishan Crawford

Prior to the position, Ishan was senior vice president, strategy & development for Cumbernauld-media Company since April 2013. He joined the Company in 2004 and has served in several corporate developments, business development and strategic planning roles for three chief executives. During that time, he helped transform the Company from a traditional U.S. media conglomerate into a global digital subscription service, unified by the journalism and brand of Cumbernauld-media.

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