The Co-Op have become the latest supermarket to scrap the 5% VAT rate on sanitary products. It's time for the last ones holding out to follow suit.
Tesco have scrapped it. Waitrose have scrapped it. Earlier this month, Morrisons followed suit.
This week, the Co-Op decided to scrap it too: the tampon tax is on its way out.
First, some context. Nearly 320,000 last year signed Laura Coryton’s petition to ban the ‘tampon tax’ – VAT charged to sanitary products (a necessity for over half the population) – in March last year. It led to an amendment by Labour’s Paula Sherriff MP, and a government pledge to cut it down to the EU minimum of 5%.
That’s going to happen in April 2018. But the campaign has been growing for supermarkets to take action themselves.
Now, over 65,000 have signed a new petition calling for just that. Three major supermarkets have listened. And they should be commended for it.
But two supermarkets are apparently resisting.
Asda and Sainsburys are the last of the major supermarkets to have not announced a 5% cut in prices on sanitary goods.
Asked why they were ‘zero-rating’ sanitary goods this week, Andy Phelps, the Co-Op Group’s director of trading told Co-Op News: “As a community retailer we feel it’s important to do right by our customers.”
But all supermarkets have a stake – both in terms of customer respect and morally – in ensuring people aren’t penalised just for having bodies. Now there’s a competitive interest too.
Sign the petition for supermarkets to cut the prices of sanitary products by 5% to scrap the tampon tax.
Left Foot Forward did not receive a response from Sainsbury’s and Asda at time of writing.Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.