We’ve urged the Chancellor of the Exchequer to remove VAT on services provided by counsellors and psychotherapists, as part of his economic plan to support the nation’s coronavirus crisis recovery.

We wrote to Rishi Sunak ahead of tomorrow’s summer ‘mini-budget’ statement calling on him to make counselling and psychotherapy exempt from VAT.

We’ve long campaigned for this – and believe now is a critical time for this to happen.

Demand for mental health services is expected to rise sharply in the coming months.

The work of counsellors and psychotherapists will be crucial in helping people recover from the devastating consequences of this pandemic.

We believe that removing VAT applied to counselling and psychotherapy services will help increase access to therapy.

Martin Bell, Deputy Head of Policy and Public Affairs, said in our letter: “Any additional cost, particularly during these challenging times, represents a significant barrier to vulnerable people being able to access vital mental health support when they need it.

“A current anomaly also sees psychologists and psychiatrists being able to offer VAT exempt services, but not counsellors or psychotherapists. 

“Anything that provides or makes it easier for people to access mental health support in this time of crisis should be facilitated and encouraged and we call on you to extend a VAT exemption to all individual PSA registered and accredited members and registrants who are qualified psychotherapists and counsellors.

“We believe the cost to the Treasury to introduce this exemption would be small, however could result in significant benefits to the helping the nation recover from the crisis.”