Today UKIP has announced that they would remove the invidious tax on women’s sanitary products. Currently tampons and sanitary pads are deemed a "non-essential luxury" item by the Treasury and so they are taxed at five percent accordingly. This is an “outdated and outrageous” tax on women, said Suzanne Evans, UKIP’s Head of Policy.
“No other party can pledge to take this simple step," she said, "as under EU rules no item that has ever had VAT charged on it can have VAT removed completely. This shows not only how ridiculous EU legislation is, but how very wrong it is that we've given our tax sovereignty over to a bunch of faceless - and mostly male - EU Commissioners who simply don't understand real life, let alone real life for women.”
"The rules are so daft, that you can go for a swim without paying any VAT, but you'll be charged for it on the tampon you need to wear in order to go for a swim. It's plain stupid."
According to an HMRC statement, "The application of VAT in the EU, including rates and flexibilities afforded to member states such as the UK, is governed by EU law. The UK applies a 5 percent reduced rate of VAT to the supply of sanitary products. This is the lowest rate possible under EU VAT law."
Ms Evans went on, “Only by leaving the EU can this change, and only UKIP wants this to happen. Taxing tampons is straight out of the dark ages, it is a hangover from a distant past when policy makers disregarded the interests and health of woman and it must not be allowed to continue.”