"Sexist" tampon tax scrapped from New Year's Day

The tampon tax was abolished from New Year’s – a move that should save the average woman £ 40 over the course of her life.

VAT on feminine hygiene products was reduced to zero after Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged to end the largely unpopular tax on tampons and pads.

This means that a pack of 20 tampons cuts 7 pence and a pack of 12 pads cuts 5 pence.

EU law had prevented member states from lowering the rate below 5%, which meant that period products were treated as luxury goods rather than essential goods.

However, zero sales tax on the period products began on January 1st, the first day the UK laws ceased to apply.

Mr Sunak, who pledged to remove the tampon tax in his March budget, said: “I am proud that today we are delivering on our promise to remove the tampon tax. Hygiene items are essential, so it is right that we do not Levy VAT. “

“We have already introduced free sanitary products in schools, colleges and hospitals, and this commitment brings us one step closer to making them available and affordable to all women.”

During Wednesday’s Brexit debate, Sir Bernard Jenkin, Conservative Chair of the Commons Liaison Select Committee, brought up the issue and said, “I think we have a debate about a glass being half full or a glass half empty.

“But I think it is worth remembering that we will be able to abolish the tampon tax that so many honorable ladies railed against the government just because we are leaving the EU.”

Felicia Willow, executive director of the Fawcett Society’s Women’s Rights Charity, said: “We warmly welcome the elimination of VAT on all sanitary products from January 1, 2021, and congratulate the government on this positive move.

“It has been a long way to get to this point, but at last the sexist tax, which classified sanitary ware as a non-essential luxury item, can finally be put in the history books.”

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