Kirsten Oswald, Member of Parliament for East Renfrewshire, has called on the UK government to do more to support hair and beauty salons ahead of the Spring Budget, due on 6 March 2024.

Ms Oswald has written to the Chancellor, noting that the cost-of-living crisis, rising bills, and payroll pressures, are putting strain on struggling hair and beauty salons, and called for the Chancellor to reduce VAT for these businesses to 10%.

Currently, salons which operate a rent-a-chair model usually fall below the VAT threshold, which in turn depresses sector-wide pricing. As a result, many traditional salons are having to choose between adopting a rent-a-chair model or ceasing to trade.

Ms Oswald raised concerns that the potential large-scale closure of traditional hair and beauty salons posed a risk to the sustainability of high streets, employment prospects, and the Exchequer’s revenues.

Commenting, Kirsten Oswald MP said:

“I have been contacted by a number of hair and beauty salons dealing with increased bills, their customers struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, and a VAT regime that is disadvantageous to traditional salons.

“I am calling for the UK government to take urgent action in the Spring Budget. A reduction of VAT to 10% for salons, will do much to ensure this vital sector can continue trading in this challenging climate.“Hair and beauty salons add significantly to our high streets and the wider economy, as well as playing an important role in the well-being of their customers.

“The Chancellor must reduce VAT to support this important sector for the sake of our high streets, and to ensure access to employment and training opportunities for young people.”

Commenting, Brian Macmillan, the owner of F&M Hairdressing, a salon based in Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, said:

“Our businesses need to be on a level playing field, and at the moment cost pressures mean that we are not. So, we need action in the budget to support hairdressing businesses which benefit our high streets all across the country.”