Stop taxing periods. Period.
  • Petitioning George Osborne

This petition will be delivered to:

Chancellor of the Exchequer
George Osborne

Stop taxing periods. Period.

    1. Laura Coryton
    2. Petition by

      Laura Coryton

      London, United Kingdom

The Government taxes sanitary towels but not crocodile steaks. Does valuing exotic meats above sanitary hygiene truly reflect society’s beliefs?

A 5 per cent tax rate has been placed on sanitary products, while exotic meats walk tax-free. HM Revenue and Customs justified this tax by classifying sanitary products as “non-essential, luxury” items. Despite decades of protesting, this tax has survived for almost half a century!

Sanitary products control and manage menstruation. They are essential because without them, those who menstruate would have no way of perusing 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.

George Osborne, sanitary products should join your list of essential, tax exempt products, which include “edible sugar flowers”, “alcoholic jellies” and “exotic meats including crocodile and kangaroo”. At the very least we consider sanitary health to be just as important as our thirst for Sam the crocodile (who we thank for being the face of our campaign) and hope that you do too. While we can live without consuming the flesh of unusual animals, we cannot live without the public participation of those who menstruate, which is dependent upon the accessibility of sanitary products.

We hope you support and join our campaign.

Find us on Facebook or Twitter for more information. We would love to hear form you.

Thank you!

Laura and Rosie




A more detailed explaination of our rationale can be found here.

Extra information detailing how and why sanitary tax was implemented:

After the UK joined the Common Market in 1973, a 17.5% sanitary tax was introduced. It was justified when Parliament classified sanitary products as “non-essential, luxury” items.

After years of hard work, in 2000 Labour MP Dawn Primarolo (who we are working closely with on this campaign) announced that during the following year sanitary tax would be reduced to 5%. She explained the reduction was “about fairness, and doing what we can to lower the cost of a necessity”.

EU law has prevented sanitary products from escaping tax entirely. Following the Union’s decision to standardise tax across the continent, no separate member state can revise VAT allocations without the EU’s permission. For this reason, hopefully with the backing of Westminster, we hope to convince the European Parliament that this is an important issue worth revising, too.

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer
Reduce your tax on sanitary products to 0% and recognise their essentiality. They are vital to maintaing a healthy and normal life. Your failure to acknowledge this, especially in comparison with other menial products, is an insult to men and women alike, and should be reversed.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 40,000 signatures
    2. No more page 3

      Laura Coryton
      Petition Organizer

      So pleased to hear that the No More Page 3 campaign are supporters! They have just messaged us saying that they "fully support your campaign. It's ridiculous we're even having to campaign about this, it's so obvious what the government should do!".

    3. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • about 11 hours ago

      Wouldn't it be great if Mr Osbourne could spend a month as a woman!! I'm sure that his mind would be changed about something that is out of our control!!!

      • 1 day ago

      It isn't a luxury! Far from it!

      • 1 day ago

      Periods are no luxury. The sanitary products are essential items.

    • Sarah Barton STONE, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 1 day ago

      I am signing because as someone who suffers with a blood disorder my periods cost me around £390 per year. When I graduate and get a job this cost will escalate to around £558 to also pay for my prescription to try and manage my periods. It is likely my two children will have the same problem. Without these products I can literally not leave the house, even with them it can be a bit iffy as I try and make them last the full half hour. These are not luxury items and with some women bleeding for 1 day and others bleeding for weeks you are punishing those who are already suffering more.

      • 1 day ago

      They'll be taxing air next. Putting tax on necessities just shows how greedy the government is and our country is going to be reduced to nothing.


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