Tampon tax is being scrapped in the UK

Eve Crosbie
Photo credit: Isabel Pavia - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

The government has said it will announce during next week's Budget that tampon tax – the VAT charged on the sale of sanitary products – will be abolished as of 2021.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, is expected to make a formal statement about the decision in next week's Budget, that the 5% surcharge to women's sanitary products will no longer apply when the UK's transition period for leaving the EU ends in December.

As of 1 January 2021, the UK government will no longer be legally bound by the EU law which classifies sanitary products as luxury no-essentials, and so subject to a goods and services tax.

Photo credit: Sporrer/Rupp - Getty Images

The news comes as a victory for campaigners who have been fighting for years to make sanitary products more affordable and to end period poverty in the UK. Scrapping the tax on pads and tampons will reportedly save the average woman almost £40 over their lifetime – with a tax cut of 7p on a pack of 20 tampons and 5p on a pack of 12 pads.

Some supermarkets like Tesco, the Co-op and Waitrose have already effectively removed the tax on the sanitary items they sell, by lowering the cost of pads and tampons in their stores, meaning that they pay the tax on behalf of their customers.

The move to abolish tampon tax follows the roll-out of free tampons and sanitary towels available for girls at all English state schools and colleges in January of this year.

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