Tampon tax means the total revenue earned by charging VAT on the sale of sanitary products. The revenue earned on the basis of this tax is used to support women facing domestic violence and given to women charitable organizations. The standard VAT rate in UK is 20% and it is applicable mostly to all goods & services whereas 5% VAT is charged on sanitary & some other products. Sanitary protection products are charged at a reduced rate but it is surprising to see that if protection or safety related equipment’s are VAT free than why women’s are paying VAT on sanitary products which is the most essential part of her life. Tampons and other sanitary products are classified under “Luxury items” in UK which should be classified under “essential items”. As per govt., they cannot reduce or remove the VAT rate entirely as EU rules stop them for doing it.
Benefits Of Removing Tampon Tax
- The poor schoolgirls who can’t afford sanitary products and misses school once a week every month due to periods will start purchasing sanitary products and will go to their schools regularly.
- Removal of Tampon tax will provide freedom to girls who are using toilet paper, T-shirt or newspaper as an alternative to sanitary products.
- A woman spends up to £18450 on period products in the course of their lifetime. Pads & tampons are very expensive and are used 4-5 times each day in periods. Removal of tampon tax will save much money of the girls and they can invest the same money in their education and for career purposes.
- Removal of tampon tax till take sanitary products from category of “luxury items” to “essential items”.
- Removal of tampon tax will increase the confidence of poor women’s living in UK and they will prefer sanitary pads over newspapers, t-shirts or toilet papers in their periods.
- It also helps in acknowledging that periods are a normal body process and brings them closed to gender equality.
Disadvantages Of Removing Tampon Tax
- I didn’t find any big disadvantage in removing tampon tax as it makes women stronger and confident. The revenue earned on this tax is used for women charity in relation to tackling domestic violence and this system will be completely abolished after removal of tampon tax.
Not using Sanitary Pads?
Not using sanitary pads can cause many problems to women’s. Some of the problems are given below –
- Health risk
- Risk of maintaining personal as well as professional life.
- It may result in public insult too.
Role Of Supermarkets
Many supermarkets come in support of women’s by reducing the cost of sanitary products by 5%. By reducing the cost by 5%, it becomes easy for women to purchase expensive items such as pads & tampons on day to day basis. Three companies named “First Tesco, Wait rose and Co-op pledged to pay the tampon tax on behalf of their customers. They reduce the prices of sanitary products and make them available at a cheaper price in the market. Event brand director of Tesco’s group named “Michelle Mc Ettrick” says that “For many of my customer’s, tampons, panty liners and sanitary towels are “essential products”. By the way, it is not sure that whether government will take the same step and abolish the VAT completely from sanitary products or not.
Future Of Tampon Rate
The European Union is aiming to bring VAT on sanitary products to zero in future which is currently set at 5%. There is a possibility that VAT rate on sanitary products will be abolished in future in UK like other countries India, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Slovakia & Kenya already abolished the tax.