THE Government is to examine cutting the VAT on sun cream after the heatwave sent sales soaring.
With health experts increasingly warning of the dangers of sun exposure, Cork Senator Tim Lombard made an appeal for the Government to reduce the cost of sun cream to ensure affordability was not a barrier to skin protection.
Mr Lombard wants the existing 23% VAT rate to be lowered.
He had what was described as a “productive meeting” with his Fine Gael colleague, Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform, Pascal Donohoe, regarding the proposal.
Senator Lombard said the potentially life-saving sun cream should not be categorised as a luxury item for VAT.
“I had a very productive meeting with Minister Donohoe regarding my proposals to reduce the VAT on sun cream.
“Minister Donohoe was amenable to the idea and has agreed to examine it further in advance of the forthcoming budget.
“Since I made my initial proposals in June, I have been blown away by the overwhelmingly positive response from people.
“I have also received an encouraging response from Minister for Health, Simon Harris and also from the Irish Cancer Society.
“It is clear that cancer is a very raw topic for people across the country.
“Very few people’s lives are untouched by this scourge of a disease.
“I would once again like to remind people spending time outdoors, whether for work or recreation, to please apply your sun cream, it could literally save your life,” the Cork Senator said.
Dermott Jewell of the Consumer Association of Ireland is supporting the call to change the rating.
He said: “It is perfectly logical and reasonable that sun creams would be nil of VAT.
“Their use is solely to contribute towards cancer avoidance, which should be top of any agenda.”
There are more than 11,000 new cases of skin cancer in Ireland every year, 16% of which are fatal, making it the most common form of the disease here.