#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 22 June 2021

'I don’t believe that a lifesaving product should be classed as a luxury item'

Calls have been made to lower or remove the VAT on suncream.

Image: DPA/PA Images

THE IRISH CANCER Society has backed a Fine Gael senator’s call to examine whether VAT should be paid on suncream.

Senator Tim Lombard’s call comes as the country gets a sustained period of warm, sunny weather and against the backdrop of skin cancer being the most common in Ireland.

In total, around 11,000 new cases are reported in the country each year.

Lombard said that one thing could help alleviate the numbers and the subsequent pressure they put on the health service.

“Making sun cream more available to people in Ireland would help us tackle this disease.

VAT on sun cream is currently set at 23%; I think the Government needs to have a serious look at lowering this rate.
I don’t believe that a lifesaving product should be categorised as a luxury item. It should be accessible at a reasonable price to everyone.

“I lost my own brother Ger to skin cancer in 2009. I think it’s important that we do all we can to tackle this scourge.

“Early detection is vitally important for treatment of skin cancer.”

The Irish Cancer Society last year saw a major win when sunbed sessions had their VAT rate raised to 23%, addressing what the society called “a bizarre anomaly which saw sessions in cancer-causing devices levied at a lower rate than a good which prevents cancer”.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

A spokesperson told TheJournal.ie that affordability needed to be part of an overall plan to tackle skin cancer.

“With skin cancer incidence projected to rise by two-thirds, at a conservative estimate, by 2040, we are facing into a skin cancer crisis in the coming decades, and need to do all we can to turn the tide against rising skin cancer rates. Government intervention to make sunscreen more affordable would be very welcome, however we know that reduced rates of VAT on goods are generally only permitted in very limited circumstances, and a reduction in VAT on sunscreens may not be possible under the EU VAT Directive. Further clarity on this from the Government would be welcome.

“Affordability is also just one part of a joined-up plan to reduce skin cancer incidence in Ireland. We recently called for the publication of a national Skin Cancer Prevention Plan by the end of 2018. Such a plan was marked as a priority in the National Cancer Strategy, and while we are pleased to note that work is underway on developing this, there can be no room for delay in its publication. This plan needs to be both comprehensive and ambitious in its timelines, and must outline the urgent need to act now to prevent skin cancer in Ireland into the future.

“This needs to include prevention programmes to raise awareness of the dangers of sun exposure among priority and high risk groups, along with population level strategies, and steps to further regulate the use of sunbeds, including a potential ban.”

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel