Tampon on pink background
I read an article today published in The Independent stating Canada had abolished taxes on feminine hygiene products effective from 1 July, meaning other governments are now under pressure to do the same.

It also highlighted those items, which are currently tax-free in the UK such as exotic meats, edible cake decorations and Jaffa cakes. It tickled me when I read that the reason for the 5% tax on tampons is they are not deemed as ‘necessary’ items.

Yes, feminine hygiene products are not necessary for men but when more than half of the world’s population is female this statement is not valid.

I would also like to point out that as much as I love myself some Jaffa cakes I could very easily live without them, I cannot say this is the case with tampons.

Indirect taxes such as these are imposed by the government on goods and services in order to generate tax revenue. As indirect taxes are not means- tested anybody who chooses to buy items that levy these taxes, must pay them.

How is it fair that the government can cash in on menstruation products? Items we do not choose to use, just as we do not choose to have periods.

Whilst some may argue other products which are also deemed essential such as toilet paper and toothpaste are also taxed, the difference is these items are not gender specific.

The tax is discriminatory as it affects a large part of the population based on their reproductive systems.

Spokesperson Jill Piebiak, for the group “No Tax on Tampons” argues “it puts an unfair tax burden on people with a particular biology.”

As if the menstrual process is not unpleasant enough as it is. The mood swings, the pain and discomfort not to mention the impracticality of it all. Having to buy tampons and sanitary towels is a burden alone without the added 5% the government get to keep for fun.

Let’s hope all the other countries around the world soon follow suit and eradicate this awful gender specific tax.


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