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Home / News / UK abolishes 'tampon tax' on menstrual products

UK abolishes 'tampon tax' on menstrual products

Jan '21
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The British government recently abolished the tampon tax, honouring its March commitment to remove value-added tax (VAT) on women’s sanitary products. Chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak said he was ‘proud’ the government had delivered on its promise, adding that it is providing free sanitary products in schools, colleges and hospitals.

But Laura Coryton, who started the Stop Taxing Periods campaign in May 2014 as a student, accused the government of using the issue as a political football, after politicians said it had been scrapped thanks to Brexit. Existing European Union law prevented member states from reducing VAT below 5 per cent.

“It is a day for celebration today, but it is just frustrating that the tampon tax is being used as a political football in terms of Brexit,” she was quoted as saying by UK media reports.

The European commission published proposals in 2018 to change EU VAT rules that could allow countries to axe the tampon tax in their countries, but it is yet to be agreed on by all member states.

Since 2015 the £15 million the tampon tax has raised in the UK have been directed to women’s refuges and domestic abuse charities.

Scotland in November last year made sanitary products free. Members of the Scottish parliament unanimously passed the Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Bill on November 24, making it legally mandatory for all public institutions to provide period products, including tampons and pads, to everyone who needs those. That was a first such step in the world.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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