Five per cent tax is nothing, you can afford your period

Think about the people who actually can’t

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The Union started giving out free tampons in the Guild toilets in a protest against tampon tax, but had to stop it only yesterday after every single one was taken in just two weeks.

Last week, the government rejected a bill which would have scrapped the five per cent “luxury” tax put on sanitary products. Of course, everyone is in uproar, but we can afford to buy our own tampons. Take a trip to ASDA and there are your Tampax, staring you in the face at £1.75 for a box of 20. Take off the five per cent tax and it brings it down to £1.66. With that nine pence saving you’re practically a millionaire.

We shouldn’t have to pay for them at all

Five per cent is not a lot: it is the lowest the government can take in tax by EU law. The problem with the tampon tax is the category it falls under – “non-essential, luxury items” – not the few pence added on to them. It suggests having a period is a luxury, and the items we need to feel more comfortable, clean and socially acceptable are non-essential. But as the majority of us aren’t comfortable free-bleeding as we walk down the street, these items should not be classed as a luxury.

You might have seen Rhianna Malone’s Facebook status, which said: “Basic sanitation is literally a human right. People who live in poverty are currently being denied this right because sanitary products are still being unnecessarily taxed.” If you buy tampons – even if you do nothing but moan while doing it – it means you can afford them. What about the people who can’t? What about the homeless, women living in shelters, suffering because they can’t afford the “luxury” of a clean period?

Screw you, tampons

While you’re complaining about your tampons breaking the bank, think about those who don’t have a bank to break. Why not spare £1.75 to donate a box of tampons to your local shelter? This five per cent is a bump in the road. While the government are arseholes for rejecting the bill, there are bigger things to worry about.

The thing we should be fighting is paying anything for these items at all. If you’re going to start a petition, don’t use it just to make a nine pence saving. Use it to scrap the costs all together. Contraception is free, and equally we shouldn’t be penalised for having a vagina. Don’t fight to get rid of a tax that saves you a few pence. Fight to get rid of the cost all together, because it’s your human right to be clean.