Today (6 March), Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, will present the Spring Budget to parliament, revealing the UK government’s spending plans for the year ahead.

Ahead of the announcement, the British Beauty Council (BBCo) has submitted five proposals to the government, to increase its awareness of the opportunities and challenges facing the beauty industry – and support its growth and innovation. It asks for:

1. Enabling of onshoring and greening of UK manufacturing.

The Council has requested the government offer capital investment to encourage beauty manufacturing business start-ups, particularly in areas of creativity and innovation. It also asks that it provides greater education and incentivisation to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to make ‘green’ investment in business operations.

2. Amendments to labour taxation to incentivise apprenticeship offering.

The BBCo’s suggestions include increasing the HMRC Employment Allowance from £5,000 to £8,000 for SMEs with apprentices, and making training in new areas of business tax-deductible, whether employed or self-employed.

3. The introduction of tax-free shopping for overseas visitors, demonstrating that the UK is open to the world as a retail destination.

4. A review of the existing VAT policy, to encourage SME growth.

The British Beauty Council notes that almost half (47%) of hair and beauty businesses sit in the £50,000 to £99,000 turnover band: more than double the economy average (22.5%). It suggests cutting the rate of VAT for the hair and beauty services sector; raising the VAT threshold from £85,000 to £100,000 across the economy, and applying a smoothing mechanism to reduce the initial impact of VAT liabilities on SMEs.

5. The continuation of the 75% business rate relief for the beauty industry, post the 2024/2025 financial year.

Read the British Beauty Council’s full submission to the Spring Budget 2024 here.

By Editor