A recent buzz regarding the tampon tax has been flying around the news lately, which had our hearts at BeYou beating with excitement as we entered the new year with an early win for periods!
You may have already heard, but in case you’ve been on a digital detox lately - the UK has recently scrapped the 5% VAT which period products have been subject to since 1973.
Is the tampon tax sexist?
This tax goes a long way down history when it comes to feminist activism.
While products such as magazines, books, most foods, and bicycle helmets are tax-free and seen as unavoidable necessities, the obvious question is: why are feminine products not considered essential too?
Now, try not to get your feathers ruffled too much by what we are about to say. According to the legislation, feminine hygiene products, such as menstrual cups, are taxed at the same rate as non-essential goods and go against the fact that having a period is not a choice. Realistically, would anyone choose to deal with blood and uncomfortable period cramps every cycle? Absolutely not!
Why the UK scrapped the period tax this year
In 2015, activist Laura Croyton gathered more than 320,000 signatures for a petition that called for the UK to introduce a zero-rate for period products.
The following year, the government agreed to review the tax rate that fell onto sanitary protection.
As of January 1, the UK abolished the tax applied to period products, making period products now zero-rate.
Before 2021, period products including pads, tampons, menstrual cups, and specific maternity pads, were all subject to a 5% VAT rate.
How much money do you save from the abolished tampon tax?
With the tampon tax abolished in the UK, you’ll be curious to know how much money you’ll be saving on your period now. Well, the maths has already been done!
While a pack of sanitary pads will be around 5 pence cheaper upfront, the UK government has estimated that women will save an average of £40 within a lifetime! It may not come close to the amount of money saved when you buy a menstrual cup because the 5% VAT is deducted from sanitary products’ cost price. These small savings are because retailers still control how much markup is added to period products’ overall price.
A step in the right direction
According to the GOV.uk, this move is “part of wider government action to End Period Poverty” that later seeks to roll out free period products to schools, colleges, and hospitals, following in similar footsteps to Scotland last year.
For now, only a few other countries like Canada, India, Kenya, and Australia have made period products tax-free – it’s great to join the club! We hope to see it being encouraged even more with other countries from across the globe!