The removal of VAT on tampons and sanitary napkins came into force on Friday in the UK, and the government emphasized that the measure was made possible by the country’s exit from the EU.
At the end of the transition period after Brexit on 31 January, the United Kingdom is no longer required by EU law to introduce a tax of at least 5% on hygiene products.
“I am proud that today we are keeping our promise to remove the tax on tampons. Hygienic products are essential, so it is normal not to demand VAT,” Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement. , which announced the measure in the budget in March.
The sexist tax can finally be referred to the history books
During Wednesday’s parliamentary debates on the post-Brexit trade agreement, Tory MP Bernard Jenkin stressed that the government “can do things like abolish the stamp duty, as so many opposition MPs have criticized the government, just because we are leaving the EU.”
Felicia Willow, executive director of the Fawcett Society, a society for the defense of women’s rights, welcomed the change. “It has been a long road to get there, but the sexist tax that saw hygiene products classified as luxury, not necessary, can finally be referred to the history books,” she said. The Ministry of Finance had estimated that the removal of VAT would save a woman around 45 euros during her lifetime.
Free in Scotland
Periodic protection has already been distributed in public schools and universities in England for a year, as well as to patients who need them in public hospitals.
Scotland went further in November last year, with MPs passing a law giving free access to sanitation, a world first on this scale.