A constant battle between women, campaigners and governments for many years has been the controversial tax added to sanitary products due to them being deemed as luxuries, rather than essentials. With women and young girls finding prices too steep, and often struggling to afford them in addition to other regular essentials, many aren't having as much access to tampons and pads as they should.
UK supermarket giant Tesco has officially become the first retailer to reduce women's sanitary products by five percent in order to pick up the cost of the tampon tax. Almost 100 products, both own-label and better-known brands will see prices being slashed in order to make them more affordable.
Tampon tax in the UK has previously been higher, and was lowered by the UK government after campaigners fought tirelessly to get the tax dropped. The government states that the EU stops them from being able to lower the tax costs further, or totally scrapping it altogether. In 2016, former Prime Minister David Cameron persuaded European ministers to abolish the tax, but change can't take place until 2018 at the very earliest.
Despite the pending VAT laws changing, Tesco chose not to wait until the new rules came into place. Tesco's group brand director, Michelle McEttrick, said: “For many of our customers, tampons, panty liners and sanitary towels are essential products. 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. That’s why – as a little help for our customers – we are reducing the cost of these products by 5 per cent.”
It's comforting to see the retailer truly working to reflect their brand tagline, Every Little Helps.
The incredible response as a result of Tesco's announcement will hopefully encourage other large chains - who can most definitely afford it - to remove tax from sanitary products before new tax regulations come into play in the coming years.