Former Liverpool aces Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler have been joined by singer Midge Ure and ex-Hollyoaks actor Carley Stenson in call to abolish tax on fire alarms.

What’s the latest?

Former Ultravox frontman Midge Ure and West End actress Carley Stenson are the latest stars to join a campaign to abolish VAT on fire alarms and extinguishers.

The ‘Axe Safety Tax’ initiative has already won support from former Liverpool and England footballers Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler, along with several MPs and TV presenter Paddy McGuinness.

They want the government to scrap the 20% tax on a range of products and services including fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, gas safety checks, fire doors and fire extinguishers.

A recently launched online petition calls for the issue to be debated in Parliament, claiming that these potentially life-saving products should be affordable to all.Above: Singer Midge Ure wants 0% VAT on fire alarms and other home safety devicesAbove: Everton captain Phil Jagielka and former Liverpool ace Jamie Carragher, below, also back the campaign. All photos courtesy Twitter/@axesafetytax

Why is this happening?

The campaign was started by Liverpool-based safety tech company, Gas Tag. Its chief exec Paul Durose explained: “At a time when safety in the home is so high on the political agenda, it’s a disgrace that safety products are taxed as if they were luxury items.

In sharp contrast, annual MOT inspections, which are also intended to save lives, are zero-rated. There should be no VAT charged on anything that makes a property safer." 

Others behind the campaign pointed out that any money spent by a social landlord, whether on behalf of housing associations, or councils, “have this tax smacked on top of it. These organisations can’t claim that tax back”.

Campaigners said that by axing the 20% tax there would be more money to invest in sprinkler systems and individual safety kits for tenants.Above: TV presenter Paddy McGuinness has added his voice to the call. Photo courtesy Twitter/@axesafetytax

Who does it affect?

Low income families are most at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning, as they cannot afford to service, repair or replace gas appliances.

The campaign has been prompted because:

  • 1.5m households in England do not have a smoke alarm
  • Almost 2,500 electrical fires are reported each year
  • 4,000 people in England are hospitalised annually due to carbon monoxide poisoning

Why are celebrities backing the campaign?

The likes of former Hollyoaks star Carley Stenson, Everton captain Phil Jagielka and ex-Everton star Leon Osman (below) have backed the Axe Safety Tax initiative because they want to see Parliament reduce the VAT down to 0% on carbon monoxide alarms, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, fire doors – anything that makes properties safer.

See here to sign the e-petition

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