Now the stylists are revolting

Protests
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The Independent Online

The revolution is spreading. Britain's hairdressers, emboldened by the fuel protests, are to launch a national campaign against taxes on their salons.

The revolution is spreading. Britain's hairdressers, emboldened by the fuel protests, are to launch a national campaign against taxes on their salons.

Industry leaders say that unless the Prime Minister agrees to meet them personally, they will mobilise thousands of hair stylists against the Government in the run-up to the general election.

The National Hairdressers Federation (NHF) says its members feel insulted that letters to Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Dawn Primarolo, the Paymaster General, have not received replies and that a petition has been ignored.

The hairdressers, mirroring the fuel protesters' tactics, plan to mobilise the millions who get their hair cut in a campaign to abolish the 17.5 per cent VAT imposed on salons by the Tory government.

Ray Seymour of the NHF says: "We will be a very effective lobbying force in the run-up to the election just by talking to people in the chair. There are strong parallels here with the fuel protests."

The hairdressers claim that VAT on salons with a turnover of more than £51,000 a year costs the industry millions of pounds.

An estimated one-third of hairdressers now work "underground", taking their scissors into people's front rooms or to unofficial salons in an attempt to avoid tax.

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