UK Feels Pressure after Canada Repeals ‘Tampon Tax’

Victoria Kezra
Canadian women scored a victory in getting a repeal of the Canadian tax on tampons and pads. Now British women are petitioning for the same right not to be taxed for their periods.

In addition to cramps, bloating and cravings, periods cause the pain of shelling out extra money.

Recently Canada repealed a tax on tampons and sanitary towels following a petition signed by almost 75,000 people. The petition demanded products that are necessary to women stop being taxed under the designation of being “luxury goods.” The request makes sense given that no woman looks at her a period after luxurious

Playtex Sport Regular Tampons

“Finally, the government has listened to reason and put an end to this injustice. That is a victory for all women,” said New Democrat MP Irene Mathyssen.

As of July 1st the repeal will go into effect and the women of Canada are predicted to save $25 million a year collectively, but what about the rest of the world?

Starting in 1973 a 17.5% Value Added Tax was introduced in the UK on sanitary products and although in 2000 after fierce lobbying the tax was reduced to 5%, women still see the tax as gender discrimination. During elections when asked about the issue David Cameron noted that the withdrawal of the feminine products tax would be “quite difficult.”

A petition has started online addressed to the Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne that has 237,843 signers at this writing. One supporter of the petition to remove the “tampon tax” named Jared Hodgson noted “If I can shave my beard tax free, women should be able to [buy] sanitary care tax free.”

Although support for a similar appeal has been gathering in the UK, other countries are still looking to get rid of taxation on tampons. Countries such as Australia where sanitary products have a 10% Goods and Services tax (GST) and Malaysia where after a member of parliament expressed the concerns of his female constituents over a new GST tax imposed on sanitary napkins and other goods, the crowd responded with laughter.