Keep the Tampon Tax Fund!

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In partnership with Sex Ed Matters, PERIOD Sevenoaks School and the Eve Appeal.
 
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak MP, please keep the Tampon Tax Fund which supports vital female-focused services and charities.

In March this year, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak MP announced the abolition of tampon tax. FINALLY, the government listened to the 318,498 amazing people who signed our tampon tax petition.

In 2016, the government launched the ‘Tampon Tax Fund’ which gave all the money that HMRC gained from tampon tax (£15m annually) to female-focused charities. This is a small amount of money for the government to give (0.19% of the annual budget). Yet, it has gone a long way to support underfunded but vital services predominantly for women, who have been disproportionately impacted by the tax on period products. 

Many brilliant health charities have been supported by this fund, such as gynae health charity The Eve Appeal as well as domestic abuse services, women’s empowerment organisations and sex education organisations. We’ve seen a staggering rise in domestic abuse killings of over 100% just weeks after lockdown began as well as a 75% reduction in people presenting with cancer symptoms to health services - proving that these crucial services are needed now more than ever before.

We also want a portion of this year’s Tampon Tax Fund to be donated to health and domestic abuse charities, to reflect the pressure put on these services through the covid-19 pandemic.

Tampon tax is due to be axed officially from 2021. We think the Tampon Tax Fund deserves to stay beyond this date for the following reasons:

1) To prove the government’s commitment to gender equality.

Previous Chancellor, George Osborne, legislated that tampon tax had to be axed “as soon as legally possible” back in 2016, meaning this government was under a legal obligation to announce the end of tampon tax in March 2020. If this government wants to genuinely demonstrate its commitment to tackling gender equality, it will work to keep this fund which supports millions of women.

2) To reflect the true amount of money HMRC has received through tampon tax.
Tampon tax was introduced in 1973 at 17.5%. It was reduced to 5% in 2001. This means that in total, the government has gained some £1.65 billion from tampon tax since 1973. Yet, it has only reinvested £45 million in female-focused charities so far.The government here has an opportunity to demonstrate their stated belief that the money gained from tampon tax should support women, through the retention of the fund in the form of paid back taxes.

3) Because the fund pays for itself
The services that benefit from the Tampon Tax Fund aren’t just ‘women’s charities’. They go far further than that. They help to fix societal problems and ultimately, they save the government money. It’s estimated that women make up to the 80% of health decisions in a family - for themselves, their children and often their partners. Continuing to invest in women is quite literally good for everyone. For example, the emotional and physical cost of domestic violence (from which both men and women suffer) totals the economy some £61 billion annually. The Tampon Tax Fund helps to support the organisations that reduce this cost from the NHS, making the fund pay for itself. 

Rishi Sunak MP, please keep the #TamponTaxFund!