The tampon tax is set to finally be abolished, as Rishi Sunak the Chancellor of the Exchequer announces his Budget.
The change comes following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Previously, the laws made by the EU have meant Britain has been unable to scrap VAT on women’s sanitary products. The EU law prohibits any Member State from applying a new zero rate of VAT.
The news means that from January next year, the five per cent tax on all sanitary products will disappear. It is expected to save the average woman around £40 over her lifetime, with a cut of 7p on a pack of 20 tampons and 5p on 12 pads.
Delivering his first Budget as Chancellor, Sunak told the House of Commons, “I can also confirm now that we have left the EU that I will abolish the tampon tax.”
“From January next year there will be no VAT whatsoever on women’s sanitary products.”
“And I congratulate all members and right honorable members who campaigned for this.”
The scrapping of the tampon tax is a victory for campaigners who have been fighting the tax for around 20 years. In recent years, campaigners have been calling for an end to the tax over concerns of ‘period poverty’. According to research, period poverty affects one in ten girls in the UK, who can’t afford or don’t have access to sanitary products.
In 2015, the Government announced that all revenue raised from the tampon tax would be reinvested into women’s charities and organisations.
Projects that tackle sexual violence, address social exclusion among BAME women and improve mental health and wellbeing all received funding. The money was also used to make grants to smaller organisations so they can deploy services that support the most vulnerable and disadvantaged women and girls in the country.