Ask any woman who has hit puberty, and they’ll tell you that there is nothing at all luxurious about having periods. Despite this, tampons and other sanitary products are currently classified by the Treasury as ‘luxury’ or ‘non-essential’ items, and taxed accordingly: unlike Jaffa cakes, lottery tickets and, ahem, helicopters, all of which are untaxed.
Thankfully, though, this ridiculous state of affairs is about to change for the better. Chancellor George Osborne and his colleagues at the Treasury have decided that nope, tampons really aren't that fun after all, and have reportedly announced plans to scrap the tampon tax for good. Hallelujah (and about time, too!)
The Chancellor said that the government had 'heard people's anger over paying the tampon tax loud and clear.'
He added: 'We said we'd fight for agreement ro reduce the VAT rate to zero and tonight all European leaders have welcomed our plan to do just that. We've achieved what no British government has even tried to achieve.'
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Osborne claimed that a formal announcement was days away, stating 'I think we are on the verge of getting that agreement. I think we are going to get [it] in the next few days, we hope.'
A change.org petition, 'Stop Taxing Periods,' was established by Laura Coryton last year, and gained over 300,000 supporters, as well as plenty of column inches.
In response, the government argued that it could not get rid of the tax due to EU law, which prevents VAT from being abolished from a product once it has been put in place.
However, the Chancellor's current stance is thought to be a response to pro-Brexit MPs, demanding that the UK stands against European tax laws.