The Pink Tax


Creative advertising team create campaign mocking 'tampon tax', Britain - Nov 2015

Sounds pretty, right? Maybe it’s a tax for female clothing. Or maybe it’s a tax for rosé wine?!

NO. This tax is pretty ugly. Like that really nice-looking cocktail that actually tastes like petrol.

The majority of us are aware that the women’s hygiene products we use to (*said in a whisper so not to offend people*) absorb menstrual flow have an added tax. However, other basic necessities are exempt from this. These items include crocodile burgers and cake sprinkles. Both extremely important and necessary basic items…


Here are some facts and figures about periods:

– There are 15 million women in the UK who are of menstrual age

– A woman will spend around six-and-a-half years of her life on her period

– On average, a woman will menstruate until she is 50 years old – an average total of 37.5 years, during which she will menstruate around 500 times.

– Menstrual cycles vary from woman to woman, but on average there THEY have 13 periods per year.

– Women spend more than £18,000 over their lifetime on their period

In a 1997 quality of life survey conducted by the Louis Harris Research Institute, British women rated disposable hygiene products second place only to electrical household goods as having had the most beneficial impact on post-war lifestyles.

So why are these sanitary products getting taxed at 5% VAT? People have called for this tax to be scrapped, however, the government says that it is unable to do so because of EU law. If the government decided to scrap this tax they would be in breach of EU law that was created in the 1970s when the government decided what would count as a basic item, and they kindly discounted it as an essential item.

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We are guessing that these were men, who never had to use tissue instead of a tampon/sanitary towel because they had no money left for the rest of the month. It’s happening to one in ten women in the UK. As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, serious questions are raised about how our government expects girls to quietly suffer mentally and physically because of a law. Blogger Ruth Allmark, 27, states, “It is sad that such a blatant tax is the norm and most girls won’t even realise they are being penalised for being female.” It is clear that period shame is still very much present in society and in the political realm.

Check out persister and campaigner Laura Coryton’s website if you want to learn more about what you can do to influence change in abolishing the tampon tax.

A couple of videos to check out:

Former Prime Minister David Cameron, asked about Tampon Tax and unable to remember why VAT cannot be removed:

Comedian Russell Howard on tax credit cuts and Tampon Tax


The Independent

The Huffington Post


Indy 100


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