‘Axe tax on PPE for carers’ Romford MP tells chancellor Rishi Sunak
PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 April 2020
Andrew Rosindell calls on the government to scrap VAT on protective gear amid coronavirus pandemic
Romford’s MP has called on the government to scrap VAT charges on protective equipment (PPE) for care companies during the coronavirus pandemic.
Conservative Andrew Rosindell made the request days after the Romford Recorder reported that Havering care companies faced skyrocketing bills.
Senior members of the Havering Care Association – a group representing more than 20 care companies in the borough – said prices were increasing by up to 1,300 per cent.
Association director John Timbs revealed that a box of protective face masks, previously priced at £800, was now being sold for almost £11,000 from the cheapest suppliers, but others were charging roughly three times that figure.
The association’s chairman Mike Armstrong said gloves, aprons and hand sanitiser were now being sold for roughly 300pc of their usual price.
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Mr Timbs added that while the NHS did not have to pay VAT on PPE orders, care companies did – even though most of their clients were referred by the NHS.
He said: “I do think they need to get a grip on the PPE situation... and they need to realise the financial pressures on the care sector. They should get rid of the VAT on PPE.”
Days later, Mr Rosindell wrote to chancellor Rishi Sunak to ask whether he would consider “a temporary VAT exemption on PPE orders for the social care sector during the coronavirus outbreak.”
He told the Romford Recorder: “I have called on the chancellor in a written parliamentary question to scrap the VAT on PPE for care homes. This is an issue I have been working on from the beginning of the crisis and I will continue to.”
Mr Timbs welcomed the MP’s actions, saying: “I am delighted to hear that Andrew has raised a formal question.”
He added that he hoped the covid-19 pandemic and the way the country was applauding and supporting carers might inspire politicians to commit to a permanent change. The sector is currently considered “VAT exempt” but has lobbied to be reclassified as “zero rated”.
He said: “As an exempt service, we do not charge VAT because of the nature of our services but we do still have to pay VAT on all of our consumables, which we are not allowed to claim back. A change to zero rated would still mean we do not charge our customers VAT, but would be able to claim back what we spend out.”
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