Outrage over cosmetic surgery VAT plan

Caroline Cassidy

A new plan to boost Government coffers by putting VAT on cosmetic surgery procedures has caused outrage amongst surgeons and patients.

cosmetic surgery VAT
cosmetic surgery VAT

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The proposal by HM Revenue & Customs is currently under consultation but would advise surgeons to charge patients VAT on any procedure that is not deemed necessary for medical reasons.

In an industry estimated to be worth £2.3 billion a year, the introduction of VAT could boost public funds by up to £500 million a year.

But surgeons have warned that the extra cost may push patients to opt instead for potentially dangerous cut-price surgery abroad.

Fazel Fatah, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, told the Daily Express: "The subjective proposals by HMRC will potentially harm large numbers of patients.

"They imply that, by definition, any procedure that corrects appearance rather than function is not a medical need."

The addition of VAT would push the average price of a boob job up to £6,000 and those looking to lose weight by way of tummy tucks, liposuction or gastric band surgery would also be forced to pay tax.

Sky News presenter Kay Burley, who recently admitted to having a facelift, said: "These proposals are an attack on women at what is an incredibly vulnerable time in their lives."

What do you think - should cosmetic surgery patients be forced to pay VAT? Leave a comment below...