The EU parliament today voted against calls for a reduced rate of VAT on tampons as part of a vote on the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality report, "Poverty: a gender perspective".
There was a separate vote on paragraph 39 of the report which said: "39. Stresses that taxation policies have a gender dimension; calls, therefore, on the Commission to promote best practice on taxation policies that takes gender impact into account and furthers gender equality, particularly in terms of taxation of household income, which in some cases can subject lower earners to higher rates of taxation, including VAT, also by introducing a reduced VAT rate for goods that are essential for women, such as tampons;"
This was rejected by a show of hands, as can be seen at 11:15 in this video.
UKIP MEP Louise Bours said after the vote in Brussels: "The Commission promised urgent action to allow reductions on VAT for things like tampons, but yet they have not included it in the latest VAT reform proposals and have kicked it in to the long grass by saying they will come up with something later this year. And now the EU parliament has voted against calls for reduced VAT on tampons, which shows this is very unlikely to happen anytime soon.
"The EU has so much power over the UK that we can't even decide how much to tax women's sanitary items. Only the EU Commission can propose changes to legislation and they are not elected or accountable. If we really want to scrap the hated tampon tax, the only way is to vote to leave the EU on the 23rd of June."