Tampon Tax To Be Scrapped

Photographed by Rockie Nolan
Good news, ladies of child-bearing age. George Osborne et al have finally decided that tampons, sanitary towels and other products one might use to soak up the monthly shedding of the uterus lining are not luxuries and will no longer be subject to VAT. The Chancellor announced that he and the Government have made a deal with Brussels that will allow them to drop the “tampon tax”, as it has become known. Despite a popular campaign to end the tampon tax that has caught the media’s attention over the last year, the Government was quick to point out that, even if they wanted to drop it, they were restricted from doing so because under EU law VAT cannot be abolished on a product after it has already been applied. The tax was, however, reduced from 17.5% to 5% (the lowest possible VAT rate allowed by the EU) in 2000, by Gordon Brown, who was too embarrassed to talk about it in his 2000 budget speech – meaning he is possibly the only Chancellor to ever make a tax cut and not shout the house down about it.
On plans to slash tampon tax altogether, George Osborne told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “I perfectly understand people’s anger at paying the tampon tax. I said we would get agreement that we could reduce this rate to zero. I think we are on the verge of getting that agreement. I think we are going to get that agreement in the next few days, we hope.”

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