Clare Coxon 0

Don't tax our children's health

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Prime Minister Gordon Brown came face to face with a star performer during a high level economic meeting in Carlisle. Razzamataz Theatre Schools spokeswoman, Alison Reolich took the opportunity to directly question the PM on his government’s policy regarding VAT on theatre schools. Oversees Director for Razzamataz, Alison Reolich explained to the PM why part time theatre schools should be VAT exempt while tackling his assertion that the taxman had given thousands of small businesses ‘time to pay’ through payment deferral. “Adding the extra tax to our fees makes the services less affordable for the target families for whom we are helping to provide health and fitness activities and life skills. Can we please be VAT exempt?” explained Alison. The Prime Minister agreed that there was confusion surrounding the issue of VAT on certain elements of education and schooling. Having promised to look into the matter with the Education Department, the Prime Minister congratulated Razzamataz saying, “Keep up the good work,” Razzamataz Theatre Schools are now raising a national petition against the charging of VAT on theatre schools. To add your voice to the campaign, please sign up now! “It is a subject about which we feel passionately,” says Razzamataz founder Denise Hutton-Gosney. “We plan to lobby parliament and present our petition to Downing Street. We will certainly follow this up most forcefully as we believe we have a right to provide fitness programmes to young people at the most affordable prices possible.” Dragons’ Den multi-millionaire businessman, Duncan Bannatyne, who invested in Razzamataz when the company successfully pitched a business expansion proposal on the BBC TV programme, is also enthusiastically supporting the campaign. “The health and fitness of our children needs to be at the top of the political agenda,“ says the owner of a nationwide chain of gyms and health clubs. “Obesity is one of the major problems facing our young people and we need to do all we can to encourage regular exercise and activity in this vulnerable section of the community. Razzamataz and the style of performance and fitness programmes they provide, do an enormous amount of good for schoolchildren in raising their self-esteem and confidence levels as well as social skills. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of the work they do in the community. We must not put obstacles in their path and that includes not taxing our children’s health “

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