Tampon tax scrapped from New Year’s Day


T

he tampon tax has been abolished as VAT on women’s sanitary products was slashed to zero.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak had committed to ending the widely unpopular tax on tampons and pads in the March Budget.

EU law had prevented member states from reducing the rate below 5 per cent, which meant the period products were treated as luxury items and not essentials.

But the zero rate VAT on the period products started on January 1, the first day the laws no longer apply to the UK.

Mr Sunak said: “I’m proud that we are today delivering on our promise to scrap the tampon tax. Sanitary products are essential so it’s right that we do not charge VAT.

“We have already rolled out free sanitary products in schools, colleges and hospitals and this commitment takes us another step closer to making them available and affordable for all women.”

Laura Coryton, who started the Stop Taxing Periods campaign in May 2014 while a student at Goldsmiths, said: “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.”

Speaking during Wednesday’s Brexit debate, Sir Bernard Jenkin, Conservative chairman of the Commons Liaison Select Committee, raised the issue and said: “I feel we’re having a debate about a glass being half-full or a glass being half-empty.

The Treasury previously estimated the move will save the average woman nearly £40 over her lifetime, with a cut of 7p on a pack of 20 tampons and 5p on 12 pads.

Felicia Willow, chief executive of women’s rights charity the Fawcett Society, said: “We warmly welcome the scrapping of VAT on all sanitary products from January 1 2021 and congratulate the Government on taking this positive step.

“It’s been a long road to reach this point, but at last the sexist tax that saw sanitary products classed as non-essential, luxury items can be consigned to the history books.”



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