Liberal Democrats welcome end of Tampon Tax

The government has announced that the 5% Value Added Tax levied on women’s hygiene products for women and girls has been abolished from January 1, 2021 and Liberal Democrat Councillors Diane Williamson and Hazel Gloster were especially delighted to hear the news; for both Councillors had called for an end to the sexist ‘Tampon Tax’ in a motion they proposed at a meeting of the full Council in September 2018.

Councillor Diane Williamson

Councillor Diane Williamson said: “It was scandalous, and sexist, that, whilst men did not pay any VAT on personal hygiene products, women and girls did. Until 1 January, female hygiene products were classed as luxury products and VAT was levied on them. These are products which are essential to them during a large part of their lives and I now hope that, with this tax cut, manufacturers will reduce their prices to consumers because at this present time many people are suffering financial hardness and every saving helps.”

Both Councillors are however concerned that a nationwide scheme to provide free sanitary products to girls at school has had a low take-up. They asked for such a scheme to be established in their motion to address period poverty where girls from low-income families must take time off from schools during their monthly period as they cannot afford sanitary products.

Councillor Hazel Gloster added: “We welcomed the introduction by the Department of Education of the provision of these products to girls in English secondary schools in January of last year. It was simply not right that students who could not afford sanitary products had to miss days from school, and so lose out on their education. Unfortunately, only 40% of secondary schools have so far taken up the offer of free sanitary products, and the Liberal Democrats want to improve take up locally to ensure all our young people are able to attend school”.

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