Research from the Huffington Post has revealed that British women, spend as much as £18,500 on tampons and other sanitary protection during their lifetime.
Women have been taxed for these items since 1973, because they are considered a luxury item by governments. Campaigners around the UK have widespread anger, and feel the government needs to re-evaluate what is a luxury and what is a necessity.
Because tampons and other sanitary items are classed as a luxury and not a necessity, VAT is added to their price making them more expensive. Items such as Jaffa Cakes, crocodile meat and helicopters escape the VAT because they are considered a necessity and not a luxury.
Canterbury feminist Helen Vass is disgusted with the governments attitude to women and their needs. Helen explains.
“They’re not a luxury item. It’s not like it’s champagne and caviar, they are a basic need.”
Canterbury green party representative Pat Marsh, says there isn’t much the government can do on the matter it all comes down to European laws.
“The problem is you can’t reduce the VAT lower than 5%, which is what the Labour did in the year 2000. This is because of the product being a subject of VAT, so we still have this ridiculous situation of paying it .” Pat Green explains
Kent feminist Taryn Waldorf says that this isn’t good enough.
“I feel very strongly about this issue, as I think many people do. It especially bugs me that at school, in health classes and at clinics, condoms are thrown around like crazy for free but feminine hygiene products aren’t.
“These products are not cheap and half our money goes towards that pretty packaging that nobody cares about.
If you can afford to give boys free condoms, then you can afford to give girls free tampons. Menstruation is a lot harder to refrain from than sex.”