My Thoughts On Tampon Tax

I had a very random thought the other morning as I was coming off of this months cycle and thought I should write a blog post on my thoughts on tampon tax and why I think it shouldn’t exist. I want to go into depth on what I think and why I think it shouldn’t be around anymore. 

WHAT IS ‘TAMPON TAX’?
A tampon tax refers to a condition in sales tax law under which tampons—and other feminine hygiene products used to absorb menstrual flow—are not tax exempt like some other medical necessities. Proponents argue that tampons, sanitary napkins, and comparable products form basic, unavoidable necessities for women and thus should be made tax exempt.

WHY DOES IT EXIST?
In the 1970s it was then that the UK government signed up to something called the Common Market, which we now know as the European Union. It was set up to make movement and trade between countries easier. During its formation tax rates for a whole host of different products were thrashed out and it was decided tampons would incur a 17.5% tax.

WHAT DOES THE TAMPON TAX MEAN WHEN I BUY PRODUCTS?
Tesco’s are the first of the supermarkets to reduce the tampon tax by 5% which means that a £2.10 box of Tampax will soon be just under £2…meaning on average women will save about £1.20 a year. Its not a lot but it’s something. And it’s fairer (which is really the point here). While 10p might not sound a lot to many of us, it *might* be the difference between someone being able to buy a pack of towels or tampons, or not. Co-Op have not long behind followed Tesco’s footsteps and a petition is going around to said ASDA and Sainsbury’s to join in! 

MY THOUGHTS
I remember when this whole tampon tax debate started happening with petitions going around calling for it to removed now we’ve left the EU and I remember seeing articles and certain people calling our sanitary products as ‘luxury’ I hardly see how it’s luxury when we have to go through our periods every month and it’s a function in our body that we can’t control. None of us asked for this to happen but it’s the way the female body works in order to reproduce. Who even created it in the first place? Was it a man who has no idea what it’s like to go through every month? (Not being sexist here, I’m all for gender equality) I know that cigarettes and alcohol are expensive enough but I really think more things should be done to stop people having access to those products as they cause more harm than good rather than taxing women on products they need on a monthly basis in order to function. Also this isn’t really linked but kind of it but why are painkillers so expensive? People need them for multiple reasons but also women who are on their periods. 

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What are your thoughts on the tampon tax? Do you think it should be removed? 

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  • Helen

    I would fully support the tax if the money went to environmental causes. Tampons etc are hugely damaging to the environment. When we have products such as the Mooncup and reusable pads, there is no excuse really. However, in reality the tax will just go into government pockets so I will remain on the fence about this for now.

    • Shannon

      Yeah so would I, it’s just the money goes straight into their pockets and puts us in a bad way when they are either ridiculously expensive or the tax is crazy!