According to a 2017 study, one in ten girls in the UK cannot afford to buy hygiene products such as sanitary towels or tampons. Scottish poll in 2018 Some women even said that they had to resort to newspapers and old clothes in an emergency. With the abolition of the so-called tampon tax, period poverty is to be combated in Great Britain.
At the turn of the year the British left the institutions of the European Union for good. With the end of the transition phase after Brexit, the UK is no longer obligated to impose a minimum five per cent tax on sanitary products, as provided by EU law. This makes UK VAT elimination effective on tampons and sanitary towels.
Finance Minister Rishi Sanak said, “I am proud that today we are fulfilling our promise to abolish tax on tampons.” Sanak said hygiene products are “necessary, so it is right not to levy VAT.”
Scotland goes one step further
However, the financial relief from the abolished tampon tax is small. The Treasury Department estimates that removing VAT on toiletries will save a woman about £ 40 during her life. Therefore, the action that London is now taking is primarily symbolic and political. Menstrual products are now also classified as essential products for tax purposes.
Felicia Willow, executive director of the Falkett Society, welcomed the change: “It has come a long way, but hygiene products can be classified as luxurious, non-essential items due to the gender tax.” History books are prohibited. “
In the fight against period poverty, charities and women’s rights organizations are calling for more free access to menstrual products. Public schools and universities in England have now distributed tampons and sanitary towels for a year.
Scotland went a step further in November by making hygiene products freely available to women. It was the first country in the world to vote for such a move. In Germany, VAT on menstrual products was reduced from 19 to 7 percent in early 2020.
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