General Election: British Beauty Council sets out sector priorities

by | Jun 20, 2024

Ahead of the General Election on July 4, the British Beauty Council has set out the industry’s key asks to future proof beauty

As leader of legislative change across the hair and beauty sector, the British Beauty Council has compiled feedback from those working in, and buying from, the industry to set out key policy priorities. 

The organisation has identified specific areas which could most significantly benefit our sector. These cover tax reform, green incentives, simplification of trade and more. 

The British Beauty Council’s key asks are: 

Tax and Spend

  1. Tax reform including a reassessment of VAT policy, specifically focussing on tapering the current VAT threshold cliff-edge.
  2. A wholesale review of the business rates system to create a more level playing field between high-street stores and e-commerce platforms.
  3. Targeted investment incentives that prioritise business re-shoring and increase UK manufacturing and innovation, particularly in relation to sustainability.
  4. A commitment to review the classification of SPF30+ to an ‘essential’ rather than an ‘cosmetic’ item.

Trade and Regulation

  1. A closer and more positive working relationship with the EU in respect of trade and export policy, addressing the barriers that have resulted in £852m drop in sales to Europe since the Brexit vote. 
  2. The introduction of an internationally competitive, tax-free shopping scheme for international visitors.
  3. A commitment to maintain a sector specific, risk-based, approach to any regulatory reform relating to UK Cosmetics Regulation in order to ensure long-term stability.
  4. A commitment to proceed with licensing regulation as secondary regulation under the Health & Care Act 2022 in the aesthetics sector.

Education and Growth

  1. An increase in the Employment Allowance for SMEs to reward businesses that grow their workforce.
  2. Tax-deductible business training in new areas of business such as AI and sustainability.
  3. An updated skills and apprenticeship education system that works for a modern Britain, managed under the remit of the Department for Business and Trade to ensure the qualifications are fit-for-purpose for UK business.
  4. Greater flexibility regarding the use of Apprenticeship Levy funds to build on and develop skills in the areas both large and small businesses need.
  5. The reintroduction of Child Benefit for families of under 18’s who undertake apprenticeships.

ESG

  1. Support and incentives for companies to implement carbon reducing, circular, nature positive and environmentally sustainable business practices.
  2. A focus in resources to ensure improved access to funding for typically disadvantaged groups such as women and ethnic minorities and greater representation at all levels of business and enterprise.
  3. An implementation strategy in relation to Extended Producer Responsibility regulation that works with industry to ensure a common-sense approach to execution e.g. utilising digital labelling etc.

The British Beauty Council will continue to engage cross-party to reinforce the industry’s £24.5 billion contribution to the UK economy, its positive role in enabling upward social mobility and breaking the glass ceiling for typically disadvantaged groups, and its trading power in the international marketplace.

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