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UK gin company making hand sanitisers asks for help from government

Danny Lawson/PA Wire

By Tom Wilkinson, PA

The owners of a gin distillery who are making hand sanitisers to help fight the coronavirus outbreak are urging the Government to drop the duty on their vital product.

Steve and Sally Green, who founded Harrogate Tipple in 2016 and also make rum, decided to do their bit after hearing about a shortage of hand sanitiser.

They looked up a recipe and found a list of ingredients from the World Health Organisation, and their industry already has access to an abundance of high proof alcohol.

They have sourced the aloe vera gel, glycerine and, after contacting hair product wholesalers, the hydrogen peroxide it needs.

But their hurdle now was getting the duty payable to the Government down.

Currently they pay HMRC £8.50 a litre for their 43% proof gin that they sell, and a hand product at around 70 or 80% proof would see them paying the Government around £25 a litre.

Mr Green said: "That is a cost we have to pay straight away.

"Sally has inquired with HMRC to see if we can suspend this duty.

"I'm hoping they will because we need this."

Mrs Green said the business was inspired to help out after hearing about the shortage of hand sanitisers.

She said: "We have had queries from hospitals, dentists, care homes and vulnerable people and we thought we could help."