Campaigners are demanding supermarkets drop the tampon tax – and they’re already winning

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.

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3 Responses to “Campaigners are demanding supermarkets drop the tampon tax – and they’re already winning”

  1. Tony

    I was shocked to discover just how wide the scope of VAT actually is.
    Sean McBride’s book “Power Trip” reveals that it also covers toothpaste and toilet paper!

  2. Jane Johnson

    Another example of how women are disadvantaged on the basis of gender. Add to this (tax on tampons) tax on sanitary pads, underwear, washing soap and deodorants, vitamin and mineral rich food to replace blood loss, painkillers, breast pads, and the accoutrements of childbirth and childcare, half pay maternity leave, family planning, baby sitting fees, lower incomes for the same job, home responsibilities protection (paying stamps when unwaged with children – particularly hard on large families especially single parents – sentenced to a lifetime of low income, poverty and reduced rate pension.

  3. Tony

    Apologies: Meant to say Damian McBride.

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