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 still taxes sanitary products on luxurious, “non-essential” grounds, but not helicopters, the maintenance of our private jets, or crocodile steaks. 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 by demanding a zero tax rate for sanitary products.
While the Labour Party have taken strides to oppose the tax since 2000, the Liberal Democrats have branded the tax 'ludicrous' and similarly, the Scottish National Party have deemed the tax a "longstanding failure in our tax system". Let's make sure this change happens!
Periods are no luxury. You can ‘opt-in’ to extravagance. You cannot choose to menstruate. Despite this, a whole heap of disadvantages have been created for those who do. Not using sanitary products can lead to health risks, jeopardise maintaining a normal, professional or personal life, and result in public ridicule. Equally, by using sanitary products, our Government capitalises on misogynist discourse and period shame that has caused us to fear our own menstrual cycles. It’s a double-edged sword that cuts women on both sides.
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.
Stop taxing periods around the world, and join our sister campaigns:
Homeless shelters: http://thehomelessperiod.com
The World: http://goo.gl/QPlwer
The BBC: http://goo.gl/NyJH5y
ITV News: http://goo.gl/yDeJfM
The Guardian: http://goo.gl/lDWFMP
The Independent: http://goo.gl/G10lav
The Telegraph: http://bit.ly/1lzUaOp and http://goo.gl/t4QXFm
The NewStatesman: http://goo.gl/UanXlI
Marie Claire Magazine: May issue 2015 and http://goo.gl/l0CW8B
Glamour Magazine: http://goo.gl/RzBul1
Dazed and Confused: http://goo.gl/mKxsvZ
Huffington Post: huff.to/1DbXWZx
The Fabian Society: http://bit.ly/1pGujbn
The Daily Mash: http://goo.gl/YzBNpE
Buzzfeed: http://goo.gl/lFkMid and http://goo.gl/Ls6LB9 and http://goo.gl/yaNj54
The Mirror: http://goo.gl/kagtrH
The Metro: http://goo.gl/juX2vN
The Female Lead: goo.gl/HYM0yD
Politics Home: http://goo.gl/bNd1L8
Bad Housekeeping: http://bit.ly/XLnuMr
Women's Views on News: http://bit.ly/1uw0xYk
Bristol Women's Voice: http://bit.ly/1oMnS7j
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.