Tampon tax repeal shows the government finally cares

Meg Howe on how the government decision to scrap the infamous tampon tax is a step in the right directions

Meg Howe
16th March 2020
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Abolishing the tampon tax is a clear indication that social issues are at the forefront of the government's reforms post-Brexit, and that Parliament are willing to listen. According to a BBC News calculator, I have spent £271.71 on sanitary products since starting my period six years ago - with £12.17 of that being on VAT - an amount equivalent to a decent weekly shop at Aldi.

It has taken so long for the tampon tax to be abolished because of EU regulations, which treated them as a luxury as opposed to essential, meaning a tax of no lower than 5% had be added to their cost. Now that Brexit has returned the choice firmly to the UK government, we see that matters such as ‘period poverty’ are being acknowledged by those in higher (national) authority. After having five different tax rates places on sanitary products since 1973, it can be seen that the government is finally paying attention to these issues.

It has been estimated that a woman will now save £40 over her lifetime. While that may not seem a lot to some people, others could manage to buy four weeks’ worth of shopping with that amount.

The government are finally listening to social issues like 'period poverty'

What will the government do with all the money it has collected from the taxation of sanitary products? The government are left with £700million, and many are pushing for this to be spent on women’s charities and organisations. If the government decide to put more money into these charities, it will be even more obvious that they are finally listening to social issues such as ‘period poverty’.

Kelly Corcoran's piece on why the tax's repeal doesn't go far enough can be found here: thecourieronline.co.uk/is-scrapping-the-tampon-tax-enough/

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AUTHOR: Meg Howe
Passionate History student and Educator

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