The Tampon Luxury

The government in their infinite wisdom have blocked an attempt to have a further reduction on tampon tax which currently sits at 5%. According to various politicians the UK have their ‘hands-bound’ by the EU who mediate these decisions. The EU must give permission – read all EU states must agree – to lower the tax. This 5% tax is the minimum VAT allowed on ‘non-essential, luxury’ items which tampons are considered to be.

Regardless of EU input and constraints on the UK government it will (hopefully!) seem ridiculous that a tax exists on items which will be needed by half of the population at one time or another. This is not an item worn for pleasure or enjoyed by women. This is a necessity for women due to the biological structure of our bodies. It is no luxury.

I’m sure many would agree that they’d prefer to not have to use this product. Or spend their hand earned cash on it! The feminist inside me wonders aloud if this was a necessary male product, would this tax exist? I guess we will never know until men start having menstrual cycles – but with the current advances in science who knows when this may be. That, however, is not the point.

Earlier articles stated that men did not pay tax on razors, it turns out they do. This has doused my fiery feminist opinions in water. The embers of my outrage over tampon tax, however, continue to linger. If tampons were used by the male half of the population would they be paying tax on them? Would men have to pay tax on a biological necessity? Having a beard or growing stubble is hardly objectionable so I understand a tax on razors. It’s more of an opt-in. The consequences of women not using tampons, during certain times of the months may, on the other hand, be far more objectionable in society. If many people’s refusal to talk openly about a woman’s menstrual cycle is anything to go by. I can’t help but muse that if the majority of our policy makers were females, if women really did ‘run the world’, we would be able to opt out tax free.

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