Tampon tax to be scrapped in Wednesday’s Budget

Scrapping the Tampon Tax shouldn't be used as an opportunity to end donations to women's groups, charities and politicians have warned.

Next week the government is expected to abolish the 5% VAT charged on women's sanitary products during the Budget, with a zero rate of VAT applying from the start of next year.

The Treasury estimates the move will save the average woman nearly £40 over her lifetime, with a cut of 7p on a pack of 20 tampons and 5p on 12 pads.

But since 2015 the money raised by the hated charge on tampons and sanitary towels, which couldn't be abolished while the UK was in the EU, has been used to fund a charity pot for women's groups.

Since its creation, £62million has been awarded by the fund to projects that help disadvantaged and vulnerable women across the UK.

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Campaigners welcomed the move to abolish the tax but said the fund should continue to pay back the money women have poured into government coffers.

Women's Resource Centre CEO Vivienne Hayes told the Mirror she was "over the moon" with the proposed change but called on Boris Johnson to "pay back the Tampon Tax".

She said: "Tampons and sanitary towels were never luxury items and should never have been subject to VAT."

Now we want to see the estimated £700 million collected through this tax paid back to women’s charities as promised."

With International Women’s Day around the corner what a great way to celebrate, honour and support millions of women this would be." Labour Women's Network chair Abena Oppong-Asare also welcomed the move – but wanted to see the funding pot for charities protected.

The Erith and Thamesmead MP said: "Although it is good to see that the government has finally realised that sanitary products are not a ‘luxury item’ and therefore should not be taxed, it would be even better if they could commit to retaining the funding for the Tampon Tax Community Fund.

"This fund is already oversubscribed, with the enormous demand for funding. I would like to see this money being ring-fenced for future generations."

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