Here in England, tax is placed upon products which are a luxury, food for example is not taxed because it is essential, we could not live without it. Recently, it has come to my attention that sanitary products are indeed taxed. This is wrong to me on so many levels. If sanitary products aren’t a necessity then I don’t know what is.
Having a menstrual cycle is definitely not a choice and neither is choosing whether or not to use sanitary products. Unless we are expected to make our own out of a fabric pouch and foliage we find outside like they did nearly 100 years ago, then I do not see how sanitary products are a luxury item. So why should women have to pay an average of £18,450 throughout our lifetime on tampons and pads, £922 of which is tax? Forget tax free, I am of the opinion such products should be completely free and available on the NHS alongside many contraceptive methods. However tax free is a start.
Despite this, 305 MP’s, both men and women, voted against the motion to scrap the tax on sanitary products. Luckily a cross-party support headed by labour forced David Gauke the treasury minister to take the issue to the European Commission and we are currently awaiting this result. However, it shocked me greatly that our MP’s voted against the motion, some of which it would affect directly.
This became more wrong to me when I researched the host of items not taxed because they are a ‘necessity’. Among these were: edible sugar flowers; alcoholic jellies; exotic animal meat; helicopters and the maintenance of private jets.
What world do we live in where flying in your private jet or helicopter while you gorge on your exotic meats and sugar flowers is not a luxury but maintaining your hygiene, health and dignity is?
This feels like a small battle for the fight for equality for women purely because it seems like the needs and requirements of men have been attended to, but ours have been forgotten. This is not about man hating or shaming, so many men are on board with this petition and campaign too; this is about what is fair and right.
I doubt many people will read this post or even see it but if you have read through the whole thing then I urge you to go and sign the petition. I’m not sure what good it will do now this is in the hands of the EU, but if you are a woman or you are a man with a mother or a daughter or a sister or you simply believe in what’s fair, sign.