Now you may be wondering, why am I quoting Lily Allen’s Sheezus? Well, Lily kindly reminded the public that women actually have periods every month. Now, some hardcore men are cringing – why is this woman talking about the dreaded subject? Calm down all you Chuck Norrises and Jason Stathams, this woman will get to the point.
Did you know that sanitary products are taxed in the UK? For those who don’t understand the concept of VAT (Value Added Tax), this is a tax added to products that are not deemed essential, see Wikipedia and official website for more information.
Just to give you more perspective, men’s razors are not taxed as they are classified as essential, so if you’ve got a manly beard, you are good to go.
Now, if you’re one of those, who has to venture into the wild wild world of supermarkets and pharmacies to buy those pesky cotton filled stringy things, miniature towels and other strange things in the feminine hygiene section, then you’re faced with the lovely 5% VAT.
Now some tween guy is going why should this matter? Well during the days of the 17.5% VAT, i.e. pre-credit crunch, all sanitary products were taxed at the full 17.5% until January 2001, were they were reduced to 5% (see the previous link, to find the eligible products) due to campaigning and EU restrictions.
From my personal understanding, VAT has always applied to luxury items, this why an ordinary pack of digestives is exempt from VAT, but a chocolate covered digestive isn’t. Why Jaffa Cakes went through that phase of proving to the HMRC that it was a chocolate covered cake, NOT a chocolate covered biscuit – chocolate covered cakes are not taxed. This is why books are not taxed, but ebooks are taxed. Even gift wrapping is taxed.
Well, here’s a petition, sign at your leisure…or you could always go with the childish approach and threaten to bleed on everything…your choice.
Maybe Lily was right, it really is hard out here…