Tony Lloyd MP says scrap the ‘Heart Restart Tax’

Date published: 12 November 2023

Rochdale MP, Tony Lloyd, has joined cross-party MPs and the British Healthcare Trades Association to demand the Government removes the VAT levied on defibrillators, with VAT adding up to £500 to the cost for businesses or community centres.

Tony said: "The use of defibrillators within three to five minutes of a cardiac arrest increases the chance of survival by over 40%. Despite this, public access defibrillators are used in less than 1 in 10 instances.

"Local organisations and charities are facing an extra cost when they look to purchase a defibrillator, with a 20% VAT charge on top of the units they buy. Simply put, this is a tax on saving lives. 

"Defibrillators bought for use by community groups, charities and sports clubs should be VAT exempt to make them more affordable and help to save more lives across the country."

Seven out of ten cardiac arrests occur in the home or a workplace and half are witnessed by a bystander. However public access defibrillator use is reported in less than one in ten of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. Currently only AEDs purchased by or donated to specific charities, local authorities and the NHS are exempt from VAT. 

Tony joins cross-party MPs, the British Healthcare Trades Association and Daily Mirror in calling on the Government to scrap VAT on the devices so more can be installed in public places. 

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