‘Hugely upsetting’ - Hairdressers and fitness bosses call for VAT change

Deb Dominic, who runs Hairsmiths. Pic: Deb Dominic

Deb Dominic, who runs Hairsmiths. Pic: Deb Dominic - Credit: Archant

Bosses of hair salons and fitness studios in Norwich are calling for a VAT cut after watching other industries benefit from a government scheme.

Deb Dominic, who runs Hairsmiths hair salon, Timber Hill, Norwich. Pic: supplied

Deb Dominic, who runs Hairsmiths hair salon, Timber Hill, Norwich. Pic: supplied - Credit: Archant

Hairdressers are urging the government to give them a VAT reduction like the hospitality sector – saying they’ve got bills and rent to pay with no income.

It comes as the government has announced it is extending the temporary reduced rate of 5pc VAT to March 31, 2021 for the hospitality sector.

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The VAT reduction will continue to apply to supplies of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and similar premises, supplies of accommodation and admission to attractions across the UK.

Dan Kelly and his team at Fitness20 in Hellesdon, which has had to close because of lockdown. Pic: F

Dan Kelly and his team at Fitness20 in Hellesdon, which has had to close because of lockdown. Pic: Fitness20 - Credit: Archant

However, salons and gyms have been left out, they say.


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Deb Dominic, who runs Hairsmiths, Timber Hill, told this newspaper: “All our bills and rent are still required to be paid with no income so it’s certainly not going to be an easy next couple of months.

“We have adhered, we’ve kept each other safe, kept the numbers low and now we’re in lockdown anyway as a result.

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“Personally I think it should have been done as regional closures with constant monitoring of stats and review of processes.

“At this rate we will reopen in December then probably shut down again in April and so on which as everyone knows, is not sustainable for busineses nor the economy.

“Huge amounts of PPE, new processes and procedures and constant risk assessments have been followed to make this new way of working feasible.

“Whilst it took a bit of getting used to initially it is now simply the way we work to be able to do our job safely. It is hugely upsetting that our region has gone into lockdown when we were all doing so well.

“Our clients felt comfortable and assured; life can carry on as long as we adhere to safety measures.”

Dan Kelly, who runs the Fit20 training programme in Hellesdon, Norwich, said: “I truly wish there was another way aside from lockdown to tackle this. I run a personal training studio, one-to-one training which is very hygienic, not a gym, yet we have had to close.

“This affects many older people, our clientele, mentally as well as physically, and my staff. I also run a networking organisation with 260 Norfolk business owner members who are reeling from the last lockdown.

“Many are desperate and have no idea how to survive.”

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