Tesco becomes first retailer to scrap Tampon Tax by covering cost for customers

Tesco has covered the 5% Tampon Tax for its customers [Photo: Getty]

Tesco are calling BS on the Tampon Tax.

As any woman who has periods will testify, the monthly purchase of sanitary products is really more of a necessity than a luxury. But sadly, as it stands right now the tampons and other products women need are classified as “luxury items” rather than essentials and as such we have to pay 5% VAT when we buy them.

Nonsense right?

Thankfully we’re not the only ones who think the so-called Tampon Tax is utterly ridiculous, not to mention completely unfair. The bods that be at Tesco also clearly agree that women shouldn’t be taxed on what is essentially a biological function and they’re prepared to do something about it.

The supermarket giant have just become the first retailer to cover the cost of the tampon tax for its customers.

Commenting on the move Tesco’s brand director, Michelle McEtterick, said in a statement: “For many of our customers, tampons, panty-liners and sanitary towels are essential products. However, the cost of buying them every month can add up, and for many women and girls it can be a real struggle on top of other essential items. That’s why we are reducing the cost of these products by 5%.”

The 5% price cut will apply to nearly 100 Tesco own label and branded sanitary products, the supermarket chain has confirmed.

Tesco previously committed to passing on the five per cent saving to customers when the Government’s proposed removal of VAT came into force. But as this won’t happen until 2018 at the very earliest, they have acted now in order to help customers with their regular shop.

Periods aren’t a luxury! [Photo: Getty]

And it could make a real difference in tackling period poverty. Earlier this year we reported that British girls from low-income families are skipping school while they are on their period because they simply can’t afford sanitary products like tampons.

Freedom4Girls, a charity who traditionally send sanitary provisions to schoolgirls in Africa, was contacted by a school in Leeds after they found some of their female students were missing school because they didn’t have access to period products.

It was also recently revealed that school girls are skipping PE because they’re worried about people finding out they’re on their period.

The survey of 2,000 adult women, by period education programme betty for schools, revealed that almost half (46%) of young women say they’ve used their period as an excuse to miss PE.

The research also revealed the reasons women had given for skipping PE due to their period. Over a third of women (39%) cited a fear of leaking, while almost a quarter (24%) were concerned that their pads could slip or would be visible (24%).

So while a 5% reduction on the cost of sanitary products might not sound like a lot, it could mean the difference between some women buying a box of tampons or not.

And that has to be considered a huge step in the right direction. Let’s just hope Sainsburys, Asda et al quickly follow suit.


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