After previously suggesting the end of tampon tax was not possible after pressure from feminist activists and political back benchers alike, it seems David Cameron has managed to reach a deal with the European union to abolish the tax altogether.
Following the news the tax could not infact be abolished under European law, Chancellor George Osborne reduced the amount earlier this year from 20 to 5 per cent, also introducing a motion that would donate all revenue from the tax into women’s charities. However, this idea was met with huge scepticism from feminist campaigners, who suggested the idea women should fund their own charitable causes was missing the point of the uproar in the first place.
All members of the European council in Brussels voted in favour of reducing the VAT on sanitary products to zero per cent. A statement made by the 28 European leaders reads, “the intention of the [European] Commission to include proposals for increased flexibility for member states with respect to reduced rates of VAT, which will provide the option to member states of VAT zero-rating sanitary products”.
The result can be read as one of the first real victories in terms of online feminist campaigning. After a lengthy string of online activism fought out on social media platforms, London based demo’s protesting the tax catapulted the issue into the eyes of mainstream media.
However, that’s not the say the increased cost of living as a woman has been diminished altogether. Recent studies have found women pay up to seven per cent more on personal care products such as razors and soap than men, leading to a new term, ‘the pink tax’, being coined.