Brexit Britain Abolishes EU ‘Tampon Tax’

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The “sexist” European Union tax on tampons has been abolished in the United Kingdom following the departure from the bloc at the end of the Brexit transition period.

Prior to Brexit, the United Kingdom was bound by EU law, which mandated that member-states charge at least a 5 per cent European Union value-added tax (VAT) on tampons, which were classified by the bloc as a ‘luxury item’ rather than an essential product.

The British government announced on Friday, that as of January 1st, Britain will reduce the tax on tampons to zero per cent.

Announcing the measure, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “I’m proud that we are today delivering on our promise to scrap the tampon tax. Sanitary products are essential so it’s right that we do not charge VAT.”

“We have already rolled out free sanitary products in schools, colleges, and hospitals and this commitment takes us another step closer to making them available and affordable for all women,” Sunak added.

The chief executive of women’s rights charity the Fawcett Society, Felicia Willow, said: “We warmly welcome the scrapping of VAT on all sanitary products from January 1 2021 and congratulate the government on taking this positive step.”

“It’s been a long road to reach this point, but at last the sexist tax that saw sanitary products classed as non-essential, luxury items can be consigned to the history books.”

Former Brexit Party MEP Jonathan Arnott said in response to the decision that “The ability to set our own rules post-EU membership is a clear benefit of Brexit.”

“Sovereignty does matter in theory, but it also matters in practice: it’s about what we choose to do with it,” Arnott added.

Though the British Parliament passed the removal of the VAT tax in the 2016 Finance Act, the government was unable to implement the tax reduction as it was bound by the EU VAT Directive.

The Conservative Party chairman of the Commons Liaison Select Committee, Sir Bernard Jenkin, said: “I think it’s worth reminding ourselves that we will be able to do things like abolish the tampon tax, which so many honourable ladies opposite railed against the government about, only because we’re leaving the EU.” .

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