On Monday 1st March, The Telegraph published a Letter asking the Government to, amongst other things, #ChopTheVAT.
The Letter reads:
“SIR – We are concerned that the fiscal impact of the Government’s lockdown measures on women is being overlooked.
The virus has taken its toll on a great many people in Britain, but a significant number of female employers, entrepreneurs and employees are being affected – and the damage could take decades to repair.
More women than men work in sectors that have shut down. Mothers are almost 50 per cent more likely than fathers to have lost their jobs or been forced to leave because school closures have created a childcare crisis.
Sectors largely staffed by women – such as retail and hospitality – have suffered massive job losses. Already almost 5,000 beauty salons have been forced to close.
The British beauty industry is worth £28 billion to Britain’s GDP – double the value of car manufacturing – yet there has been no sector-specific financial support, despite one in 60 jobs being within its businesses, many of which were started by women.
The lockdowns have also exposed and accelerated the vulnerability of our high streets. Online sales have boomed, while retailers are being unfairly disadvantaged by having to pay high business rates. The collapse of Debenhams and Arcadia alone has seen 25,000 women lose their jobs. As more retail moves online, shops – which have mainly female staff – are being replaced by warehouses and jobs in deliveries, which are taken by men.
We believe the lockdown is turning back the clock on Britain’s working women – who are not only losing their jobs at an alarming rate, but have also borne the brunt of the domestic load and home-schooling. We call on the Government to take action to halt this reversal by properly assessing the impact the pandemic has had on women’s lives in the UK.
In Wednesday’s Budget, we are asking for a temporary cut to the VAT for hair and beauty salons, from 20 to 5 per cent, in line with the VAT relief offered to the hospitality sector. We are also asking the Government to continue the business rates holiday to the end of the pandemic, and to lower them to 50 per cent thereafter.
These actions would show the Government’s commitment to backing business women in Britain, and that the female workforce is considered a vital part of the UK’s recovery plan.”
“Caroline Nokes MP (Con)
Chair, House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee
Chair of My Wardrobe HQ, Director of London Fashion Fund
CEO, British Beauty Council
Former Women and Equalities Minister
Dame Jenni Murray
Former Woman’s Hour presenter
Founder, WealthiHer Network
Chairman, British Beauty Council
Founder, The Wow Foundation
Co-founder of Notonthehighstreet; founder of Holly & Co; UK Ambassador to Creative Small Businesses
Founder, The Women’s Association
Dame Heather Rabbatts
Chair, Time’s Up UK
Former Global Chair, The 30% Club
Global Chair, The 30% Club
Chief Executive, The Chartered Management Institute
CEO, The Fawcett Society
Deputy London Mayor
Founder, Everyday Sexism Project
Founder, The Lady Garden Foundation
Founder and CEO, Trinny London
Dr Helen Pankhurst
Founder and CEO, Pregnant Then Screwed
Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu
Founder, Women in Leadership
Founder, Women of the Future
Dr Jackie Mulligan
Founder and CEO, Shopappy.com
Co-founder, Blow Ltd
Managing Director, Treatwell
Co-founder and CEO, Women Returners
Founder, We Are the City
Former CEO, The Fawcett Society
Co-Founder, A Plastic Planet
Dr Julie Hoegh
COO, British Beauty Council
CEO, Cult Beauty
CEO, Aromatherapy Associates
Founder, Beauty Pie
CEO, Unilever Prestige
Founder, The Federation of Nail Professionals
Founder, Blink Brow Bar
Michelle de Klerk
Founder, The Women’s Chapter Network
Julia Elliott Brown
Founder, Enter the Arena
CEO, Killing Kittens and Sistr Ltd
Founder, Fab Little Bag
Director, Josephine Home
Owner, Delish and Yummy
Nancy Zeffman and Eileen Willett
Co-Founders, Cucumber Clothing Limited
Co-director, SB surveyors
Founder and CEO, Black & White Comms
Founder and Director, Single Mums Business Network
Founder, Debbie Trumper Consultancy
CEO and Founder, Functionality Fragrances,”