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Call to scrap VAT on eco-friendly gadgets

Thousands of UK shoppers have signed a petition calling for the government to remove VAT on eco-friendly consumer gadgets, such as personal solar chargers, domestic panels and energy-saving meters.

The petition was started by electronics retailer Maplin and will be handed over to HM Treasury this week – though Greenbang suspects Treasury officials might have other things on their mind at the moment.

Currently, consumers have to pay VAT on energy efficient products sold in the UK.

David O’Reilly, marketing director at Maplin, said:

“We would like to encourage many more shoppers to adopt eco-friendly technology by removing VAT which will help them to adopt a greener lifestyle. We’re a nation which can’t live without our gadgets, mobile phones, BlackBerrys and iPods – all of which can be easily powered using renewable energy. We therefore recognise that lifting the VAT will provide a major incentive for millions of consumers to try and do their little bit to improve the nation’s overall energy efficiency.”

A spokesperson for HM Treasury said:

“The Government has been engaging constructively at EU level for more widespread application of reduced VAT rates to energy-saving and energy efficient products.”

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