Britain’s Chancellor George Osborne just made a landmark move regarding tampon taxation — all the money is going to go to charity.
In his Autumn Statement, he revealed that the government is also “committed” to getting the European Union to scrap the existing 5% tax rate but in the meantime, all the money raised through the tax will go towards women’s charities.
This is what he said:
300,000 people have signed a petition arguing that no VAT should be charged on sanitary products. We already charge the lowest 5% rate allowable under European law and we’re committed to getting the EU rules changed.
Until that happens, I’m going to use the £15 million a year raised from the Tampon Tax to fund women’s health and support charities. The first £5 million will be distributed between the Eve Appeal, SafeLives and Women’s Aid, and The Haven – and I invite bids from other such good causes.
The tax on the female health product makes the UK £15 million a year and protestors have campaigned for decades over how the tax should be scrapped. This is because women don’t choose to be the only sex to have a period, nor do they choose whether they want to use tampons or not.
However, under European Union classifications, tampons are put under the “non-essential luxury items” category — meaning that they are subject to tax.
The only way to scrap the tampon tax is for EU politicians to vote this change in. The British government cannot cut the tax. For example, while the Labour government managed to get the tax on tampons reduced from 17.5% to 5% in 2000 but it could not outright scrap the tax because it would breach EU rules.
People on social media seemed to be mixed over the declaration despite the government not being able to do anything about the tax rate at the moment:
15 million to womens charities from tampon tax. Labour didn’t know how to react to that one. Lots of nods. But some sure to complain.
— Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole) November 25, 2015
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