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Periods / Claire Blackmore

The Government Is Causing Tampon Tax Uproar, Again

In the Autumn Statement yesterday, Philip Hammond announced that £3 million raised by the tampon tax will go to charity.

The chancellor said the remaining funds from the 5% tax on sanitary products will go to Comic Relief, who will share out the money between a number of women’s charities.

However the news has been met with controversy, with leading women’s organisations calling out for more money from the government to help support vulnerable people.

“£3 million from the tampon tax isn’t enough for women’s services and we shouldn’t be taxed for our own safety,” said a statement released by equal rights charity The Fawcett Society.

“The Autumn Statement 2016 is disappointing and represents a missed opportunity for women and for the economy.”

The Women’s Equality Party agreed, suggesting that the money “is a drop in the ocean when women’s services are on their knees – we need sufficient and sustainable funding now.”

Former Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions Ros Altmann also seemed shocked by the news, tweeting: “£3m from tampon tax fund to go to Comic Relief for women’s charities – is that a joke?”

Tampons and sanitary towels are considered a ‘non-essential luxury’ item – a fact that has caused worldwide uproar because really, it’s not like we’re trying to stock up on Zara coats and a new pair of patent boots every single month.

Let’s get real, feminine hygiene products are not luxury items. Period.

More than 300,000 people signed a petition calling for sanitary products to be completely tax-free, and while the chancellor’s predecessor George Osbourne pledged to remove it last year, this was blocked by the EU.

As the debates roll on, one thing we are happy about is the fact that the conversations don’t seem to be slowing down. People are passionate about abolishing the frankly unfair tax and will keep going until it has gone.

The future may remain unclear but in the words of Christina Aguilera circa 2002, you can’t hold us down!

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