Roz Foyer, STUC General Secretary, stated,
"It is abhorrent that, 8 months into this pandemic, the UK Government would chose to reinstate VAT on personal protective equipment, such as face masks.
"It's as if they've conveniently forgotten that we are currently in a second wave of the virus, and that people are required to wear masks to protect themselves and others. With many people across the UK out of work, navigating our inadequate social security system or on reduced hours, a reinstatement of VAT for products to simply keep ourselves and others safe is disgraceful.
"This 20 per cent rise in cost will hit frontline workers and those who travel to work on public transport the most. Some of our lowest paid and most undervalued workers will be hit hardest by this decision, a slap in the face after everything they have done for us all during this pandemic.
"As cases begin to rise, the Government should be doing everything they can to ensure that as many people as possible are consistently wearing masks. Reinstating VAT on personal protective equipment flies in the face of that. Extending the VAT holiday until the pandemic is over is the morally right thing to do."
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