Registrar’s letter to Paul Scully MP
Mr Paul Scully MP
Minister for London and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
(Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets)
1 Victoria Street
London SW1H 0ET
19th February 2020
I am writing to you following the meeting you convened with the hair and beauty industry on 10th February to thank you for your time and to urge you to make representations to the Treasury on our behalf ahead of the Budget.
As Registrar of the Hair and Barber Council, I was very pleased to be able to attend the meeting and provide the perspective of our members.
Before the pandemic, our industry contributed £6.6 billion a year to the UK economy, and employed over 337,000 in over 49,000 businesses. However, the hair and beauty sector has received no specific financial support from the UK Government other than in some cases, the generic support that has been distributed by the furlough scheme and some grants for the self-employed.
Our members are extremely keen to open up their salons as soon as is possible. SAGE data shows that closing hairdressing and non-essential retail only reduces transmission by about 0.05′ of the ‘R’ rate. Reports suggesting that personal care services will not open until the later stages of the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown are therefore deeply concerning.
As I indicated during the meeting, we are calling for enhanced support for our sector, to include:
- An extension of the VAT relief provided to the hospitality sector etc. to the hair and barber sector, i.e. reduced to 5%, whilst then further considering exempting hair salons and barber shops from VAT payments in the future and a zero rate band on products
- An extension of the ‘Business Rates Relief’ scheme in England for the next 2 years enabling businesses to try and get back on their feet
- A grant to all businesses in the sector to compensate in some small way for all the additional safety, hygiene and PPE products they have had to purchase
- Hair salons and barbershops that have been paying utility bills during the pandemic should have these reimbursed either by the providers or by the UK Government
Our industry has overwhelmingly supported all the requirements and legislation that has been put in place to protect the public and the staff that work in this industry. They are totally committed to doing ‘the right thing’ but in many cases will not be able to sustain their businesses without some financial support.
I was greatly reassured by your support during the meeting on 10th and would appreciate your help in making representations to colleagues at the Treasury on our behalf. If there is any further information you require, please do not hesitate to contact me.
30 Sydenham Road
020 8760 7010