Tax on tampons - it really is time for it to end

18 February 2015

tampon Tampons! The scourge of wimpy men the world over who feel a bit awkward for having to buy something that goes in a lady and gets some gunky blood on it. Of course, you don't buy them soiled so you'd think they'd treat them like buying toilet roll, but no, it makes some blokes screw their faces up. The wusses.

Anyway, the weird attitude toward tampons is, bafflingly, still a thing in 2015, where they're still a product that is deemed 'a luxury' for women and are taxed accordingly. Presumably, women are supposed to use bits of old rag or something, which would stink up the place and ensure that they couldn't work properly or function as normal members of society.

With that, a petition is doing the rounds, with over 150,000 signatures aiming to ditch the tax on tampons.

There's been a 5% tax on tampons for years now, because HMRC think that they're a 'non-essential, luxury' item. As the petition points out, this is a bizarre decision that is costing consumers money, needlessly, given that tax-exempt things include cold sandwiches, 'edible sugar jellies' and 'crocodile meat'.

It is nigh-on impossible to argue against the fact that tampons are as close to an absolutely necessary product for millions of people, making this one of the most baffling consumer issues of the past 50-odd years.

The petition says: "Sanitary products control and manage menstruation. They are essential because without them, those who menstruate would have no way of pursuing a normal, flexible, public or private life and would be at risk of jeopardising their health. We should all feel free to enjoy a life of our choice: period or no period."

"Essential items should not be taxed because tax implements a monetary discouragement that lessens a product’s accessibility and affordability. It is therefore damaging to stand by a tax that has restricted the public’s access to healthcare and constrained their ability to consume a vital range of products for decades."

"We are here to remind HMRC that menstruating men and women exist and that public policy should reflect this. Tax allocations should expose the needs of society as a whole, and the needs of those who menstruate as well as those who don’t. Because we care about these people, this campaign was made in support of tax allocations representing them and reflecting something that is vital."

Insert your own 'Tax office rakes in blood money' joke here.

TOPICS:   Tax

12 comments

  • FooFan73
    LOL, jam rags
  • Alan D.
    It's about time a tax on simple human biology was ended.
  • Christopher W.
    Hate to ruin the fun, but there is no provision in EU law for the introduction of new zero rated items. We can maintain our existing zero-rated items because they were grandfathered in before the new rules which allow only for the current bands (that is, the 5% and 20%, which can be varied, but 5% is the minimum). So, if you want zero-rated tampons, your options are as follows: demand a new EU treaty to replace this Lisbon treaty, with the power to zero-rate new items. This will take a few years, assuming all 28 member states agree to it. Or you can join up with UKIP and try to leave. What you can't do is demand the HMRC flatly ignore EU law.
  • Al
    Myth: Razors aren't zero taxed. Full tax is applied.
  • Meekon
    I'm sure there's a joke about the common similarities of the HMRC and tampons in there somewhere...
  • Euan
    From that petition... "We are here to remind HMRC that menstruating men and women exist and that public policy should reflect this." Menstruating men exist?
  • JonB
    @Euan I was going to point that out until I googled the phrase "menstruating men" and found that some transgenders consider themselves a man with uterus.
  • Paula f.
    I have always found it strange that tampons are taxed, child necessary items are not taxed and children need tampons.
  • DrJogalog
    Posted by JonB • February 19, 2015 at 2:47 pm @Euan I was going to point that out until I googled the phrase “menstruating men” and found that some transgenders consider themselves a man with uterus. A woman then?
  • Roger
    Pathetic nonsense. The idiot that posted this should be ashamed.
  • digibanger
    Lets put an end to this stupid story - period.
  • Father J.
    Fannytastic

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