tampon tax

This supermarket has just joined Tesco in axing the tampon tax

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • And it’s about time.

    It’s safe to say we’ve all had enough of paying tax on our tampons, with sanitary items seen as luxuries not necessities, unlike bread and razors which are both free of VAT.

    There has been decades of protesting around the issue with men and women across the UK deeming it unfair that the female population is forced to pay 5% tax for buying something that is actually a healthcare necessity.

    Last year marked the 2016 tampon tax war, with pressure on the government to scrap the tax completely but instead they decided to compromise, putting the money raised from the tax towards women’s charities. Sadly the charities in question weren’t actually that female-friendly, with £250,000 reportedly going to an anti-abortion charity.

    With news like this emerging, it’s easy to think that little to no progress has been made towards axing the tampon tax in the UK.

    Luckily, last week Tesco proved us wrong, becoming the first retailer to waive the tampon tax, absorbing the tax for its customers and paying the 5% rate themselves.

    This reduced costing will apply to almost 100 products in Tesco’s range – including both branded items and products from the supermarket’s own label, making them more affordable.

    The news gets better as it looks like other supermarkets are following suit, with Waitrose now joining Tesco in reducing the price of sanitary products by dropping the 5% tampon tax.

    Waitrose has explained that it hopes its decision will ‘make a difference’, with the reduction in price set to be in place by the end of this week.

    ‘For many of our customers, tampons, panty liners and sanitary towels are essentials products,’ explained Tesco Group Brand Director Michelle McEttrick. ‘However, the cost of buying them every month can add up, and for many women and girls it can be a real struggle on top of other essential items.’

    She continued: ‘That’s why – as a little help for our customers – we are reducing the cost of these products by five per cent.’

    There’s still a long way to go, but these two supermarkets are making a huge step forward.

    Reading now

    Popular Life stories