A new petition is calling on all supermarkets to follow Tesco and Waitrose's lead in scrapping the tax on periods.
A new petition is calling on all supermarkets to follow Tesco and Waitrose’s lead in scrapping the 5% VAT rate on tampons by dropping prices.
Nearly 320,000 signed Laura Coryton’s petition to ban the tampon tax in March last year – leading to an amendment by Labour’s Paula Sherriff MP and a government pledge to cut it down to the EU minimum of 5%.
Following negotiations, the 5% tax on periods will be scrapped by April 2018. But that still leaves nearly a year of people being taxed simply for having bodies.
Nearly 10,000 people have signed the petition in under a day calling on supermarkets to follow Tesco and Waitrose this week in cutting prices by 5% to effectively ‘scrap the tax’.
The campaign states:
“Periods are no luxury. You can ‘opt-in’ to extravagance. You cannot choose to menstruate. Despite this, a whole heap of disadvantages have been created for those who do. Not using sanitary products can lead to health risks, jeopardise maintaining a normal, professional or personal life, and result in public ridicule.”
And they called the Treasury to act:
“Sanitary products should join your list of essential, tax exempt products, which include “helicopters” (and “aircraft repair and maintenance”), “alcoholic jellies” and “exotic meats including crocodile and kangaroo”.
“While we can live without flying our own private helicopters, we cannot live without the public participation of those who menstruate, which is dependent upon the accessibility of sanitary products.”
And now they are targeting the supermarkets themselves – with some of them already listening.
This campaign has captured politicians’ and companies’ attention – and isn’t going anywhere until the tampon tax is scrapped, one way or another.
Sign the petition for supermarkets to cut the prices of sanitary products by 5% to scrap the tampon tax.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.