The Day Tampons Made History – The Tampon Tax Has Been Scrapped!
Throw your tampons in the air and break open the bubbly – tonight, Thursday 17th March 2016, the UK made history by securing support from the EU to SCRAP the ‘tampon tax’, meaning we will no longer pay VAT on our sanitary products. Can we get a ‘HELL YEAH’?
It’s a move that will be making headlines across the globe in the coming weeks, and of course earning Prime Minister David Cameron serious brownie points after he successfully secured the deal in Brussels.
More than 300,000 people signed a petition calling for sanitary products to be completely tax-free.
After all, why are items such jaffa cakes and pitta breads taxed at zero rate, yet real necesseties such as tampons and pads – still charged at 5%? Forgive us, but ain’t nobody got time or patience for free bleeding.
In 2000, the VAT on sanitary products was reduced from 17.5% to 5% following a huge campaign by Labour MP, Dawn Primarolo (#goDawn).
But for the last 16 years we’ve been charged 5% Tampon Tax on every box of tampons or towels – and while it may be the lowest rate allowable under EU law – it’s always been completely unacceptable in our eyes, and in those of the incredible campaigners who have worked so hard to push this result through.
Last year, George Osbourne pledged to spend the proceeds of the tax – an estimated £15million – on a number of women’s charities – one of those being the fantastic Eve Appeal, whose efforts promoting the symptoms of the five gynaecological cancers must be applauded. Where does this leave them? We’re not sure yet.
The new Tampon Tax agreement reached with EU leaders will give the UK the flexibility it needs to introduce a zero rating. And we’re hoping that soon, other countries will follow suit.
France, many states in the US, and Australia are just a few who are still charging a Tampon Tax on our monthly necessities. And let’s not forget those who live in countries where they still don’t have access to sanitary products – at all.
In the meantime, we’re celebrating this HUGE win for women in the UK, whose monthly annoyance needn’t be so much of a pain.
The tax – and the taboos – around periods are finally breaking down. And for that reason, we’re over the (lunar cycle) moon.