SNP candidate for Cunninghame North Kenneth Gibson has once again called on the UK Tory Government to cut VAT on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
VAT on items such as face masks and aprons was cut to 0% in May 2020 following a vigorous campaign against it.
The Tories’ re-imposed VAT last October meaning that organisations, including charities, and the public are now being slapped with extra charges of 20% when purchasing essential PPE to protect against COVID-19.
Kenneth Gibson commented:
“The Tory Government’s decision to introduce a Mask Tax last October in the middle of a global pandemic is not just utterly inexplicable, it’s frankly dangerous; there should be no VAT on these essential and potentially life-saving items.
“It is shameful that the Tories are imposing extra costs for protecting themselves or their staff. Meanwhile Matt Hancock MP, kept his job as England’s Health Secretary, despite a court ruling that he acted unlawfully when his department did not reveal details of contracts it had signed during the pandemic.”
According to the National Audit Office, Mr Hancock secretly authorised a ‘VIP high-priority lane’ for favoured companies, which it proved were then 10 times more likely to win contracts - worth £1,700 million - than outside that group.
Of the 47 suppliers put through the lane, 12 were introduced by MPs, 7 by Lords and 18 by officials.
At the same time, businesses and individuals, often better qualified to produce PPE but lacking political connections, had no access to the VIP lane.