SUPERMARKET bosses are calling on the government to scrap tax on sun cream.

As it is, sunscreen is classed as a ‘cosmetic product’, rather than an ‘essential healthcare’ item – which means that a 20 per cent VAT charge is added onto the price.

A normal bottle of sun lotion costs around £5-7 so about £1.50 of this is the VAT charge.

Heads at Co-op Midcounties say that reclassifying the item into an essential product would make it VAT exempt and would ‘play a significant part’ in making sunscreen more affordable.

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Cancer Research UK states that getting sunburnt just once every two years can triple the risk of melanoma skin cancer – which has been diagnosed in more than double the number of people since the 1990s.

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To help reduce the costs for customers now, Co-op Midcounties has slashed the price of sun cream in its shops by 20 per cent.

But bosses still want people to back the campaign and have started a change.org petition to get action.

They have also asked customers to write to their MPs.

Popular TV medic, Dr Hilary Jones, has also supported the cause to make sun cream tax-exempt, saying: “Sunscreen is a really important medical product that prevents against the risk of skin cancer.

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"I fully support the Co-op Midcounties campaign and it’s important that we get Ministers interested in removing VAT from sunscreen.

"There is a wide consensus of doctors, skin specialists, dermatologists and cancer specialists who would agree that sunscreen should be reclassified as a healthcare product.”

Sign the petition here