Tampon Tax – The Luxury of Having Tampons

Protests outside Downing Street. Image via Vice

Tampon Tax 

From a UK Resident Perspective

When you think of the word luxury, what conjures up in your mind?

Bubble baths? Chocolate? Holidays? Being waited on hand and foot by a half naked Alex Turner? The list is as long as my block page on instagram. So what is the definition of the word? “A state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense

Ok, great comfort and elegance, right, now let’s think about a slightly different topic –

periods.  Yes, that monthly gift from mother nature us women are plagued with through most of our lives; the pimples, the gut wrenching cramps, the mood swings, the desperate dash to the fridge to consume everything in sight, and the blood. So much blood. Personally, I have had months where so much life juice has fallen through my pearly gates I’m surprised I haven’t been whipped down to my nearest hospital for a blood transfusion!

Luckily, we women are a resourceful bunch and we power on through. Tampons, and other sanitary products, date back to ancient Egyptian times and have been by our side ever since to mop up. So my question is this – would you consider sanitary products a luxury item?  No? Of course you wouldn’t.  We don’t decide to pamper ourselves once a month with a box of pads. Hell no, these items are ESSENTIAL. Without them we would not only ruin all our best clothes, (yes even those massive period knickers we all own) we would be visibly bleeding for the world to see. In a time where period blood is such a taboo, it’s not the best look!

Welcome to the UK, where tampons, pads, menstrual cups, and maternity pads are taxed as luxury items. Our UK government (who may I add is mostly male) have voted in favor of this tax. *editor’s note – this travesty spans many of the individual states within the United States and other countries as well. See (BBC article) for reference.

Sanitary products do not belong on that list. We are literally getting taxed for having a uterus. The men who voted on keeping this tax are probably the same poor souls who are frightened of dirty scary vagina blood to the point they make their wives sleep in the outhouse of their 35 bedroom mansion when she’s blobbing away down there. I hope I’m not coming across as bitter here.

  • exotic meat such as crocodile and kangaroo
  • alcoholic jelly sweets
  • edible sugar flowers
  • Jaffa Cakes

Those are a few items which are, in fact, exempt from any tax at all.  I think I can speak on behalf of all women, a tampon is far more essential than a kangaroo steak. There are many arguments for and against this tax. After all, it is only a 5% tax so it is highly unlikely you will notice a hole in your pocket when it comes to paying. However, the point is this, (and this is what a lot of people are missing) these items are being taxed as a LUXURY product. The taxation could be 0.005% or 50%, it doesn’t matter. Until sanitary products  are taken off that list I will continue to be bitter about it. True to my British self, I will moan, rant, write letters, and carry on drinking my brew.


*This article was anonymously submitted to Punky Moms

Want to find out more information about this ridiculous tax in the UK? Check out the links below


Huffington Post

The Guardian


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