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    Government urged to scrap VAT on toilet roll

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    Ahead of spring budget, the government is being urged to scrap hidden ‘Roll Tax’ on toilet roll as it is classed as a luxury while most Brits consider it as a necessity and an essential part of weekly shop.

    New research from eco-friendly toilet paper brand Who Gives A Crap reveals that 70 per cent of the British public is unaware that VAT is charged on toilet roll, whilst caviar, helicopters, and marshmallow teacakes are all considered essentials, and are therefore VAT-free. In fact, 87 per cent of Brits think this is unfair which comes as no surprise when over 4 in 5 (82 pr cent) class toilet roll as an essential part of their weekly shop.

    Who Gives A Crap, now the third largest toilet paper brand in the UK, has called on Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt to scrap the ‘Roll Tax’ in the upcoming Spring Budget, with almost nine in ten (88 per cent) Brits backing the move. The firm has requested the move in a submission to the Treasury ahead of the Budget and has written to the Chancellor in an open letter signed by Bloody Good Period, The Hygiene Bank and Freedom4Girls.

    In total, the UK spends around £26 million on toilet paper every week with each household using 127 rolls annually. The VAT on this brings in £247m to the Exchequer, equal to just 0.05 per cent of total tax receipts.

    Whilst this is pennies to the government, this has a much greater impact on UK households and disproportionally affects the most vulnerable in our society. Amidst the cost-of-living crisis, three in five UK adults admit to having cut back on luxuries to be able to afford essential household purchases. By scrapping the Roll Tax, an average household would be saving £8.74.

    Emily Kraftman, UK managing director of Who Gives A Crap, said, “We know that something as humble as the toilet roll can make a huge difference to people’s lives, especially as the cost-of-living crisis continues.

    “We were baffled to find that toilet roll is taxed as a luxury when it’s one of the most essential items in our weekly shopping carts, especially when compared to some of the more ridiculous, VAT-free items such as caviar.

    “We’re calling on the government and the Chancellor to make this small change today that will benefit every single one of us – and committing to pass 100 per cent of the savings on to our customers.”

    Who Gives A Crap has launched a public petition with Change.Org to help garner public support for scrapping the tax.

    Ruth Brock, CEO at The Hygiene Bank, said, “We know that people are, in increasing numbers, struggling to afford essential hygiene products due to the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis. It’s crucial that we remove VAT from toilet rolls to help bring prices down and support those facing hygiene poverty.”

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