Stop taxing periods. Period.
David Cameron has accepted that removing sanitary tax will be "very difficult to do but I'll have to go away and have a look and come back to you”. Well Mr Cameron, it’s time for a response. We need to know why the Government taxes sanitary products on luxurious, “non-essential” grounds, but not crocodile steaks, edible sugar flowers or helicopters. If you value the functioning of those who menstruate at least as much as you enjoy your flying crocodile Fridays then sign our petition and join our campaign. Help to put an end to the marginalisation of issues traditionally associated with women.
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.
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.
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 “helicopters” (and “aircraft repair and maintenance”), “alcoholic jellies” and “exotic meats including crocodile and kangaroo”. While we can live without flying our own private helicopters, 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.
Thank you for your amazing support!
Stop taxing periods around the world, and join our sister campaigns:
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.