Chancellor must scrap tampon tax as more major stores absorb costs for consumers

Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, has called on the Chancellor to scrap the tampon tax for good, following the Co-op’s announcement today (29th August) that they will cover the cost of the tax for their customers.

Several big retail companies, including Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons and Lloyds Pharmacy, have already announced that they will absorb the cost of the tampon tax for their customers before it is scrapped entirely.

In October 2015, the UK Government announced that it had reached agreement with the European Commission to scrap the tampon tax, after an amendment to the 2015 Finance Bill forced them to explore options to remove the levy. In March 2016, the UK Government promised to bring forward legislation to scrap the tampon tax by changing the bands at which VAT is applied to tampons and sanitary products.

However, over a year since the UK Government promised new laws to remove VAT on tampons and sanitary products, they remain subject to 5% VAT and no legislation has been brought before Parliament to end the tampon tax.

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“I am pleased that the Co-op have joined several other major retailers in paying the cost of the tampon tax for their customers. However, retailers should not need to mitigate the cost of an unjust tax that the UK Government has already promised to scrap.

“It is appalling that, over a year since the UK Government promised to end the injustice of taxing periods, no draft legislation has been brought to the House of Commons to remove VAT from tampons and sanitary products. This issue has been running on for far too long and too many women are still being taxed for their periods, despite the commitments of some retailers to shield their customers from the tampon tax.

“The only way to guarantee that all women will benefit from the tampon tax being axed is for new laws to be brought in without further delay. The Chancellor must now come to Parliament with a clear plan and timetable to end this unjust tax once and for all.”

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