Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

At last. Tampon tax set to be scrapped after EU deal

thinkstockphotos-467037208.jpg

After months of petitioning, viral parody campaigns, women bleeding in front of parliament in protest and now a backbench rebellion in a Budget vote, the government have finally announced that they are set to scrap the tampon tax.

Downing Street announced that 28 leaders who met at the European Council summit in Brussels have agreed unanimously to a statement allowing member states to exempt sanitary products from VAT.

In October, female sanitary products were still considered ‘luxury’ items after MPs voted against removing the tax on tampon. And yet, jaffa cakes, helicopters and bingo games were subject to zero VAT because they are deemed as "essential".

Chancellor George Osborne said the government "heard people's anger over paying the tampon tax loud and clear" and had pledged to spend the proceeds of the tax on women's charities. 

In the UK women’s sanitary goods are currently taxed at five percent, the lowest permitted rate under EU rules (most products are taxed at 20 percent).  

One of the witty responses to to the luxury tax on sanitary towels and tampons in October 2015

"We said we'd use the money to benefit women's charities and we've already distributed £17m to good causes across the country," Osborne said.

"At the same time we said we'd fight for agreement to reduce the VAT rate to zero, and tonight all European leaders have welcomed our plan to do just that. We've achieved what no British government has even tried to achieve.

"It just shows how Britain can make a case for a reform that will benefit millions as a powerful, confident voice inside a reformed EU."

A formal announcement is expected on Wednesday and the new rates may take some time to come into place.

Related

shared parental leave.png

Breaking down the budget: what does it mean for women?

simpsons sex ed.png

Tales from the classroom: our hilarious and cringeworthy sex education

sex education feminism.jpg

“Compulsory sex education is a vital tool for the feminist movement”

bikini body.jpg

The fearless feminists of 2015

CSaEw3BWwAE3jrb.jpg

The brilliant responses to the luxury tax on sanitary products

ThinkstockPhotos-467037208.jpg

Women protest tampon tax by bleeding through trousers by Parliament

period-bad-blood.jpg

Taylor Swift's 'Bad Blood' is now a brilliant tampon tax parody

ONLINE_ARTICLE.jpg

This is what 30 looks like to women across the world

Samantha Jones Sex And The City 2.jpg

Meet three women happy to be child-free by choice

Comments

More

Magical hair dye changes colour according to temperature and mood

Seeing is believing

by Sarah Biddlecombe
22 Feb 2017

Hair hacks we learned from the experts at Fashion Week

Useful and unusual

by Shannon Peter
21 Feb 2017

How bridesmaid hair has found its cool

A lesson in adding edge to pretty hairstyles

by Shannon Peter
17 Feb 2017

NYFW's most irresistible make-up trends

From peach eyeshadow to super-shine skin

by Shannon Peter
17 Feb 2017

Get the golden touch with cutting-edge metallic nail art designs

Introducing s/s 2017’s most wearable nail-art trend...

by The Stylist web team
07 Feb 2017

Touching new photo series shows the beauty of women over 100

Age is just a number

by Sarah Biddlecombe
03 Feb 2017

The red lipstick that suits every woman

The Stylist Beauty Council finds the make-up shades to flatter all

by Shannon Peter
03 Feb 2017

Bespoke beauty: the customisable make-up promising perfection

Cosmetically speaking

by Amy Swales
31 Jan 2017

Angelina Jolie lands her first job since Brad Pitt split

First public role since news of the divorce

by Anna Pollitt
24 Jan 2017

This is why Alicia Keys wore make-up in her latest photo shoot

The star appears in colourful eyeshadow and sweeping eyeliner

by Amy Swales
20 Jan 2017