You’ll have to explain this to me Suzanne

Only women bleed, sang Alice Cooper. And only women pay taxes on the products they use to deal with the fact that this happens. Sanitary products such as tampons are taxed as non-essential, luxury items at 5%. So are maternity pads. Some products remain exempt from this tax – such as edible sugar flowers and alcoholic jellies – but tampons are our little treat, aren’t they? We spoil ourselves silly with such luxury.

5% is not the luxury VAT rate now, is it?

If the average woman menstruates 450 times over a lifetime, it is estimated that will have cost her £18,450 (taking into account sanitary protection, pain relief and new underwear).

£41 a period? When a box of tampons costs £1?

The reason we are talking about tampon tax again is that though the Tories pledged to scrap this 5% VAT, they didn’t.

Because they’re not allowed to. The European Union insists that something which has a positive VAT rate cannot then be made exempt or zero rated, given a 0% VAT rate. That’s just the system, the problem is in Brussels. As Gordon Brown found out.

Abortions, like periods, are not shameful, but a fact of many women’s lives. If we are to have a tampon tax at all, the money generated should at least go to those who regard women as autonomous adults who make our own decisions. To hand it over to those who do not respect our choices and actively want to limit them is deeply shameful.

There are many women who are anti-abortion, indeed Life is rather full of them. If money is to be spent upon women’s issues, as is the point with this tampon fund, that does not mean it should be spent only upon wither those women or those issues you agree with. Because not all women agree with you.

19 thoughts on “You’ll have to explain this to me Suzanne”

  1. If any woman doesn’t agree with her that woman is a traitor to all women. And I’m a man and am not allowed to say what I have just said.


  2. Dear Suzanne
    Before commerce stepped in to provide convenient disposible sanitary towels and tampons, women used and reused rags to catch their menstrual flow., which would have to be washed and dried, but for free. Before my time, I am told the washrooms of my old girls boarding school were full of buckets for soaking the bloody clouts and festooned with drying ones. Thank you commerce!
    You are prochoice, so why not allow women to decide whether to dodge VAT and big business or cough up.

  3. Apparently the £41 includes the cost of chocolate, pizza and Bridget Jones DVDs needed to help a girl get through that time of the month.

    Perhaps we should remove VAT from these essentials too?

  4. Thanks to Brexit, the Tories will be able to make good on their promise of 0-rating sanitary products. If they want to.

    If I were them, I’d do it very loudly and make it absolutely clear that it was the EU preventing 0-rating so now we can make good on our manifesto pledge.

    Not sure they’re that competent though…

  5. John Square in Hamburg

    Ah, good old Suzanne- never one to let ignorance get in the way of a rant.

    There’s a subtle hypocrisy here though- my essentials are deemed luxury products wherever I go, and as Interested says, I see no campaign for zero rating on things men need. I mean- Jesus, it’s still OK to mock blokes in advertising and stuff, so we’re nowhere near equality, are we.

    Also- I never knew LJH was a woman. I thought we only had Julia representing the other 51%. Next one of the Various ‘Bloke in…’a will reveal themselves to be a chick.

  6. Ha- slightly off topic (of women that is) but i found myself in a rural pet shop the other day and found out that ‘working’ dog breeds feed is free from VAT, non working dogs not so.

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    Well working dogs and their feed would be VAT-free, no?

    In passing, has anyone commented on the fact that Alice Cooper’s song is actually about physical and emotional abuse and not menstruation?

    She just thought it would be a hip lead in didn’t she?

  8. Philip Scott Thomas

    Only women bleed, sang Alice Cooper.

    ‘Let it bleed.’ sang Mick Jagger.

    Your point is?

  9. Only women bleed, sang Alice Cooper. And only women pay taxes on the products they use to deal with the fact that this happens.

    Firstly, men grow beards and have to shave, and razor blades don’t come cheap.

    Secondly, who actually pays for tampons? Women or their husbands?

  10. “Well working dogs and their feed would be VAT-free, no?”

    Yes well according to person behind the till its done on the breed now not on whether the dog actually does any work. For administrative ease.

    Equivalent would be buying a tractor and filling it with red diesel for your commute.

  11. To be truly appalling about it I think we might be too late for that explanation. By some number of years.

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