Hated tampon tax scrapped from today slashing costs of sanitary products
THE HATED tampon tax has been abolished – slashing the cost of sanitary products for women.
Britain has finally been able to ditch the EU levy as it marks its first day of Brexit freedom.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he was “proud” to deliver on the key election and Vote Leave pledge.
He said: “I’m proud that we are today delivering on our promise to scrap the tampon tax.
"Sanitary products are essential so it’s right that we do not charge VAT.
“We have already rolled out free sanitary products in schools, colleges and hospitals and this commitment takes us another step closer to making them available and affordable for all women.”
What is period poverty?
CAMPAIGNERS say many women and girls cannot afford sanitary products, putting their health at risk.
The average woman spends more than £150 a year.
In June 2018, MP Danielle Rowley shocked the House of Commons by announcing she was on her period while calling on ministers to help women who are trapped in "period poverty".
She said: "I would like to raise with you today and to the House, and perhaps you'll excuse me for my lateness, that today I'm on my period – and it's cost me this week already £25.
"We know the average cost of a period in the UK over a year is £500 – many women can't afford this. What is the minister doing to address period poverty?"
Equalities minister Victoria Atkins said the Government was ploughing £1.5million into projects educating young people.
She also said VAT would be scrapped as soon as Britain leaves the EU.
Research by the maker of Always products showed a fifth of UK parents struggled to afford sanitary protection for their daughters.
And more than 135,000 girls missed out on school each year because of period poverty.
Felicia Willow, boss of the Fawcett Society which campaigns on equality, hailed the move.
She said: “It's been a long road to reach this point, but at last the sexist tax that saw sanitary products classed as non-essential, luxury items can be consigned to the history books.”
The EU forces all its members to slap a 5% tax on tampons.
The “sexist” levy became a key issue in the Brexit campaign, with Boris Johnson saying it was yet another reason why the UK should sever ties with Brussels.
Mr Sunak promised to scrap the tax at the last Budget and now Britain has finally fully left the EU, the tax cut kicked in today.
Scrapping the tax will cut the cost of a pack of 20 tampons by around 7p, and a pack of 12 pads by 5p.
But it's not clear if this will bring down the cost of sanitary products in supermarkets, some of which have already cut prices.
In August 2017 Tesco became the first British supermarket to effectively scrap the Tampon Tax by covering the 5 per cent VAT itself.
Waitrose and Morrisons also cut their prices on hundreds of items to cancel out the effect of VAT.
But retailers can set their own prices and don't have to pass on the VAT cuts to shoppers.
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