Northampton hairdresser asks why Government won't give salons a decent cut in national VAT campaign

"There are some big costs coming our way and a cut in VAT would help us reopen."

Friday, 5th March 2021, 6:00 am
Julie (R) and her daughter Gemma of Hensmans Hair in Abington Square are calling for the VAT cut to be extended to the beauty industry.
Julie (R) and her daughter Gemma of Hensmans Hair in Abington Square are calling for the VAT cut to be extended to the beauty industry.

A Northampton hairdresser is asking why the Government has refused to budge on cutting VAT for the beauty industry to help it survive post-lockdown.

The budget this week announced how hospitality and leisure businesses would only pay five per cent VAT for the next six months before it returns to 20 per cent next April.

But the same offer has not been made to hairdressers and the beauty industry - who will be battling out of lockdown with the standard 20 per cent rate.

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Now, Northampton salonist Julie Hensman is backing national campaign 'Save Our Salons' and calling on No.10 to give her and her colleagues a cut of their own or risk seeing "thousands of hairdressers collapse".

Julie - owner of Hensmans Hair Salon on Abington Square - said: "We're very fortunate to be in an industry that people want to come back to as soon as possible. If this year has shown us anything it is that we are big players on the high street.

"But there are some big costs coming our way and a cut in VAT would help us reopen."

Julie says even though the nation is ready to get back in the salon chair after months in lockdown, it doesn't mean the industry will be making huge profits when they reopen.

Hairdressers like Hensmans will be opening at only 50 per cent capacity with restrictions in place and turnover of customers is more difficult PPE and social distancing.

Salons also have debts to pay from the months closed without any income at all as they have been unable to offer takeaway and click-and-collect services.

Julie said: "We are grateful for the business rates holiday and will be able to apply for up to £18,000 in grants.

"But we are appealing to the government to cut the VAT we pay on this part of our business, which will give all local salons a better opportunity for survival and keep people in jobs."

The campaign claims that one-third of every pound hairdressers make ends up in being paid in tax, as salons pay for both sales and services.

Save Our Salons also claims a survey of 1,000 of their members suggests 56 per cent of them are "considering closing".

Meanwhile, a survey of 5,000 businesses by the National Hair and Beauty Federation in December 2020 suggested 62 per cent were unsure if they would survive to the end of the financial year.

Save Our Salons founder Hellen Ward said: "Salons are at the heart of the UK’s high streets, offering personal wellbeing at a time when we need it the most. We feel that hairdressing, barbering and beauty services will play a vital role in helping to rebuild and reshape the high street landscape of the future, but our salons need support now.”