VAT is a feminist issue

Many will be well aware of the #EndTamponTax campaign. It was launched in 2014 by Laura Coryton, whose petition has been signed by over 300,000 women and men alike.

Now a new opportunity has risen to finally axe VAT on sanitary products as the VAT Directive is going to be changed. The Commission is soon to release an Action Plan and national governments, businesses and the public will be consulted. The review will consider whether to grant national governments greater autonomy in rate-setting and whether to allow for exemptions, zero rates and super-reduced rates in a revised VAT regime.

As she will be part of a working group on the VAT review, Molly has launched a campaign to press for a Europe-wide VAT exemption for tampons, towels and mooncups. However, such an agreement will require the support of all 28 EU member states, which is why she is seeking to gain wide-scale support for this campaign. 

Campaign action plan

The VAT Action Plan will include a consultation, in order to get the new legislation right. This is where we need you! When this consultation comes out we need as many people as possible responding and calling for an exemption for tampons, towels and mooncups!

Our draft response will be available here on the website for people to adapt and send in themselves. Then a proposal for legislation will follow either later in the year, or early in 2017.

We will also be making as much noise about this in the European Parliament as we can, by submitting amendments to upcoming Parliamentary reports on VAT, working with the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality committee to put forward a Written Declaration (the European Parliament equivalent of an EDM), as well as through the Greens’ Tax Justice Working Group.

In order for this to be a success we need politicians in all 28 member states of the EU agreeing to this. It’s not about getting another exemption for Britain, but for justice for all women all over Europe.

Position paper

Read the full position paper outlining in detail why tax is a feminist issue, why Molly is campaigning on this issue and our campaign plans in more detail.

News reports

To follow.


Huffington Post blog: VAT is a Feminist Issue. Molly writes about her campaign to achieve a Europe-wide VAT exemption on sanitary products and how the campaign to #EndTamponTax is symbolic of the many ways in which women are disadvantaged through our tax system.