Vat on sanitary products (quick resolution), 2015

Submitted by:  NCW Science and Technology Committee

The National Council of Women, in Conference assembled, urges her Majesty’s Government to use its position and in turn to urge the European Parliament to remove the tax on basic feminine hygiene products. Menstruation is a natural event; most girls and women do not choose to use hormonal methods to prevent having a period at all. So, each month we have the expense of protection. Gone are the days of the terry-toweling cloth or the throw-away rags – for most of us.

Two points:

  1. Under EU regulations we pay VAT in sanitary products. I do not consider these a luxury item – nor that to use them is a matter of vanity.
  2. The poor struggle to afford essentials. The homeless have limited financial means, and certainly very limited access to washing facilities either for themselves or the rags they use.

In The Big Issue of April 13-19 2015, on p. 25, there is an article on this problem for the homeless which highlights the campaigns currently forming. It ends with a quotation “Ultimately, this is about basic hygiene and human dignity.”

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