Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

PMQs: Slash VAT on face-coverings says Plaid Cymru

Published

on

BEN LAKE calls for zero-rating for mandatory face coverings

At today’s (Jul 22) PMQs, Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake MP called for VAT to be cut on face coverings.

The standard 20% rate of VAT is continuing to be charged on non-medical face coverings in the UK.

Mr Lake has also written to the Chancellor calling for the tax to be removed.

Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport in each of the UK nations by Friday, with England and Scotland also requiring their use in shops. The Welsh Government has stopped short of making masks mandatory in retail settings, but has advised their use where social distancing is not possible.

There is currently a temporary zero VAT rating applied to all supplies of PPE which are made between 1 May and 31 October 2020. This only applies to PPE made for medical settings, not the face-coverings advised for use by the general public.

There are concerns that the cost of face masks could be prohibitive for some families as they become mandatory.

The European Commission indicated support for temporary VAT reliefs, including zero-rates, directly linked to the efforts being undertaken to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Netherlands has applied a zero rate to domestic sales of ‘mouth masks’ from 25 May 2020 to 1 September 2020. The zero rate will be applied to non-medical masks that consumers are allowed to use on public transport, as well as to medical masks, regardless of who they are sold to.

During PMQs, Ben Lake MP asked:

“Face coverings will become mandatory on public transport in Wales next Monday.

“A zero VAT rating has been applied to most PPE since 1 May – but at present it does not apply to non-medical face coverings.

“Will the Prime Minister therefore extend the zero rating to these items so that members of the public – especially those on low incomes – are not financially penalised for following the rules?”

The Prime Minister responded by repeating that VAT on PPE had been removed and committed to speaking to the ‘relevant minister’ to clarify the UK Government’s position.

Following PMQs, Ben Lake sent a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which was also copied to the Prime Minister, saying:

I am contacting following a request I made to the Prime Minister during today’s oral questions. I urge you to consider extending zero rate of VAT to reusable masks while their use is mandatory or advised to reduce the spread of covid-19.

I welcomed your announcement earlier in the year that a zero rate of VAT would be applied on items of personal protective equipment (PPE) to ease the burden of tax on essential infection protection equipment needed to deal with the emergency.

Now that face coverings have been made mandatory by all the governments of the UK in certain settings, I urge you to extend this exemption to reusable masks.

I believe this could easily be done by modifying the guidance dated 24 April 2020 titled ‘Guidance, COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)’ to reflect the updated advice with regards to face coverings. I would encourage the UK Government to follow the advice of the World Health Organization when defining what masks should be used, to encourage the use of the most effective masks available.

The Netherlands applied a zero rate to the domestic sales of masks, including non-medical masks for use on public transport, with the aim of making masks cheaper for those who travel on public transport. I would urge you to do the same.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

New Quay RNLI rescue two people in the water

Published

on

ON FRIDAY (Jul 16), New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was requested to launch by HM Coastguard following reports of two people in the water off Ynys Lochtyn, near Llangrannog, having capsized their kayak. 

At 10.40am New Quay’s inshore lifeboat Audrey LJ launched with three volunteer crew members on board and made good speed down the coast in excellent weather conditions. 

Huw Williams, New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “When we arrived on scene we found one person had made it back onto the kayak and one still in the water. Both had been in the water for 30 minutes and were struggling in the tidal current so it was important that we got them on board to be assessed.  

“The Coastguard Rescue Helicopter was also tasked but was stood down after we confirmed that both casualties were safe and well, with no injuries. 

“Having got the casualties and the kayak onto the lifeboat we transferred them to Llangrannog beach where we handed over to the RNLI lifeguards and the New Quay Coastguard rescue team.” 

It was also a first shout for New Quay RNLI’s newest crew member, Will Best.  

Will is an international yachtsman and, sailing on the yacht Alegre, he has chalked up wins in both the Rolex Middle Sea and Giraglia Races. He was also navigator on board the winning 2011 Sydney to Hobart race boat Loki. As well as sailing competitively, Will specialises in the design and installation of electronic systems on Grand Prix race boats and super yachts. He has also worked with a number of America’s Cup and Volvo race teams.  

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager said, “Will brings a wealth of seafaring knowledge and is a great addition to the crew. Welcome on board Will!” 

Will added, “It has been great to join the New Quay RNLI crew. They are a great team and I’m glad I’ve got my first shout under my belt.”

Continue Reading

News

Man, 22, charged with murder of John William Bell in Cardigan

Published

on

A CARDIGAN man has been charged with murder after a man’s death in Ceredigion.

Dyfed-Powys Police said 22-year-old Ashley Keegan, of Golwg y Castell, Cardigan, has been charged with his murder.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police can confirm that Ashley Keegan, aged 22, of Golwg y Castell, Cardigan, has been charged with the murder of John William Bell.

“Keegan will appear at Swansea magistrates court on Saturday 24th July 2021.

“John’s family continue to be supported by specialist officers and the investigation is grateful for the support of the community whilst enquiries were conducted.”

This is the second major incident in the same area this month.

Another man was charged with making threats with a knife, he is again from Golwg y Castell.

Dyfed-Powys Police said they received a number of calls reporting a man brandishing a knife towards another man in Maesyfelin, Cardigan, at around 4.20pm on Wednesday (July 14).

Several police units swiftly made their way to the area, but the suspect had fled.

Dean Thomas, aged 25, was quickly located at his home in Golwg y Castell, where he was arrested on suspicion of affray and taken to custody.

Mobile phone footage was gathered from people at the scene, and statements were taken from witnesses.

Cardigan Inspector Owen Williams said: “Thanks to the swift attendance of officers, there were a number of people present who were able to provide evidence to assist with our enquiries.
“Thomas also made a significant statement linking himself with the incident, and was charged within hours of being arrested.

“I hope the speed with which we carried out enquiries into this incident reassures people living in Maesyfelin, who were naturally very concerned by what had happened.”

Thomas was charged with threatening a person with a blade or sharply pointed article in a public place and appeared at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, July 15 where he admitted the offence.

He will be sentenced on July 29 at Swansea Crown Court.

In relation to the murder, anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101 and quoting Op Reedham. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

Continue Reading

News

Devastated family’s tribute to ‘loving and devoted’ son

Published

on

THE FAMILY of the 37-year-old man who died in Cardigan in the early hours of Wednesday morning (Jul 21) have said he will be “hugely missed by all that loved him”.

John Bell, who lived in the town, was found on the road to Cardigan Bridge at around midnight.

His family has issued this statement: “We are devastated at the loss of John.

“He was a loving and devoted Son, Brother, Father and Uncle and he will be hugely missed by all that loved him. 

“We ask for privacy at this time.”

John’s family is being supported by specially trained officers.

A 22-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder remains in police custody.

Detective Superintendent Paul Jones said: “Our thoughts go out to John’s family at this very difficult time.

“We are currently focussing our investigation in Golwg Y Castell and the road between there and Cardigan Bridge, where Mr Bell was located.

“We are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen or heard an altercation in that area during the evening of Tuesday, 20 July, particularly the latter part of the evening, after 10pm, before police attended at around midnight.”

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org. Quote reference: DP-20210720-458.

Continue Reading

Popular This Week