The Filo Project, a local dementia care social enterprise, are calling for an end to an unfair VAT rule that adds 20% to dementia care costs faced by families. Handed a letter to Downing Street calling for an end to the added VAT. 

Libby Price and Liz Dennis of The Filo Project were joined at Downing Street on Tuesday 20th February by Peter Kempton from Exeter whose mother Margaret attended a local Filo group, and Anthony Mangnall MP and Simon Jupp MP, who are supporting The Filo Projects campaign. 

The Filo Project offers unique, award-winning day care within hosts’ homes for small groups of socially isolated older people with early to moderate dementia.

Unlike the NHS, dementia care is not free, and families must cover all or part of the cost themselves. 

The Filo Project is a not-for-profit organisation, but VAT rules stipulate they must charge families an extra 20% on the vital day care they provide. Because they are a Community Interest Company and not a state-regulated institution or charity. 

For families who pay the full cost of dementia care themselves, this additional cost burden of VAT (based on someone attending day care two times weekly) is nearly £2,000 per year.

Since the social enterprise was set up in 2014, families supported by The Filo Project have paid over £700,000 just in VAT for their day care.

Georgie from Bridgwater, whose husband Barrie comes to a Filo Project group twice a week, supports the campaign and says:

“The fact that not-for-profit organisations like The Filo Project have to pay VAT is unfair. The Government is making money from people with dementia and it’s like kicking someone when they’re down.”

“For some families, not paying VAT could mean the difference between going or not going to a Filo Project host.”

Libby Price, co-founder and director of The Filo Project explains:

“The Government waives VAT for a number of items and services, yet essential dementia care provided by a social enterprise like us is considered a taxable luxury service.

“This is fundamentally unfair and means families can’t afford as much dementia care as they need.

“We were here today at Downing Street calling for the Government to put this right in the upcoming Spring Budget by changing VAT rules so not-for-profit organisations like us who provide welfare support and care are exempt from having to charge VAT. Families would feel an immediate benefit.”

Anthony Mangnall MP, said:

“It was a pleasure to join the Filo Project at Downing Street to support their important campaign to end the dementia tax. 

“No family should be left unable to access essential support due to the additional cost of VAT, and I commend Libby and her team for raising awareness of this issue.

“As well as supporting the organisation today, I have also written to HM Treasury along with fellow Devon MPs to highlight their campaign and hope to see this situation put right in the upcoming Spring Budget.”

The campaign is also backed by Sir Gary Streeter MP, Ben Bradshaw MP, Anne Marie Morris MP, Sir Geoffrey Cox MP and Selaine Saxby MP.

The Filo Project’s national petition smashed its 500 signature target within a week of being opened this month. It currently stands at over 1000 signatures and the social enterprise is calling on the public to show their support by adding their signature at

For more information about The Filo Project visit or call 0333 939 8225.