Time for Tories to rethink mask tax

The Tory government’s decision to introduce a Mask Tax in the middle of a global pandemic is not just utterly inexplicable, it’s frankly dangerous.

VAT on PPE was cut to 0% in May following a campaign from trade union groups and opposition parties, with the cut applying to items such as face masks and aprons.

It was initially due to return to 20% in August, but this was then extended until October 31.

The Tories’ planned changes mean that businesses, charities and individuals in Scotland will now be slapped with extra charges when purchasing essential PPE to protect against COVID-19.

The CEO of Scottish Care, Donald Macaskill has branded the move as “pure madness”.

As we head into the winter months and look to regain control of the virus, the safety of our key workers and care providers is more important than ever. Their protection should be a top priority for Boris Johnson’s government.

The last thing anyone needs right now is to be penalised with extra costs for protecting themselves or their staff.

The Tories have just days to extend the VAT exemption and end this madness. It’s time for the UK Treasury to treat this issue with the urgency it demands before it is too late.