No, not me, Rose George:
Rose George: A devious plan painting domestic violence as solely a women’s issue
There it is, just behind my toilet, in a discreet washbag. The means for women who are being brutalised, raped, assaulted by men (in 2011-2012, according to the CPS, 94% of defendants in violence against women cases were men) to be protected, by a small piece of cotton that I stick up my vagina to deal with an unavoidable biological event.
That a tampon should be taxed is baffling and infuriating enough. But that George Osborne has chosen to divert the £15m raised by the “tampon tax” (actually VAT on what is ridiculously called “feminine hygiene”) towards funding women’s shelters and refuges is even more so.
It’s brilliant really, because how can I be against women’s services getting funding, when their money has been slashed, when the amazing Eaves and their Poppy project have had to close? Refuge’s funding has dropped 80% in four years. How churlish it would be to object to them getting money, even though it’s money they should have been getting in the first place; even though it’s money that is coming from a woman-only tax.
Women will now fund services that protect them from violence perpetrated almost entirely by men. Hey, men, not only do you not have to pay for violence that you inflict on women, but when we get raped, abused or brutalised, we won’t cost the state anything either! What message is that sending other than violence against women is some kind of “women’s issue”? It’s not. It’s largely a male issue.
So, Gideon, don’t stop at the tampon tax. Get £15m from a tax on Gillette Mach 3 or that Friday pint or on the wages of Premier League footballers, who could lavishly fund women’s services and not notice. But that won’t happen, and Osborne has made it almost impossible to object to his apparently generous announcement. And that is just bloody devious.
So, it’s EU rules that mean that tampons are taxed at 5%. We’ve given away that power to lower that tax rate. And look at the bonkersness of the actual complaint.
And then think about the level of knowledge of the tax system you would need….sorry, ignorance of it…..to complain about a 5% tax on tampons when razors pay 20%, beer more like 60% and Premiership footballers some 53 or 54%.
Anyone would think she’d lost her rag or something.