The think tank is all about ideas that make Wales fair, prosperous and sustainable and to improve people’s lives. With that in mind, they have proposed a sun bed tax in a report called Tax for Good: Devolved taxes for a better Wales.
While no specific figures were mentioned, the rather logical thinking behind it is to make sunbed sessions more expensive and therefore dissuade people from using them. The idea is that it would be a tax that’s passed directly onto the consumer rather than to businesses, applied at the point of sale on top of the cost of the sunbed session. It was also mentioned by the organisation’s director that the figure would have to be substantial enough to put devotees off using them, or at least, using them frequently.
In 2009 the Welsh Assembly’s Health, Wellbeing and Local Government Committee estimated that there were 400-500 tanning salons operating in Wales. In perspective, in 2013 across the UK there were 14,509 new cases of malignant melanoma according to Cancer Research UK, a figure which had risen by more than 360% since the 1970s. Of those, it’s estimated that 86% are preventable and that 100 malignant melanoma deaths each year in the UK are caused by sunbed use.
All pretty scary stats, so maybe The Bevan Foundation has a point. When the story was published on Professional Beauty, one reader commended: “the problem is the public being so ill informed and salons being legally silenced to be able to speak about the health benefits of tanning, i.e. [saying] some skin conditions benefit from UV… people with low self-esteem feel more confident with a nice tan. All this is never mentioned. All you hear is scare mongering in an already heavily regulated industry.”
So, what do you think? Should there be a tax on sunbeds?
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