Feminism Friday: Luxury

Dapper man-about-town Jon Topper recently alerted me to a fantastic article over on The Art of Manliness, where survival expert Creek Stewart shares 10 survival uses for a tampon. Yes, the humble tampon has a great many uses other than the one it is sold for. Anyone who knows me will wonder why on earth I am commenting on this, as I am perhaps one of the least likely people to survive for longer than two days without access to shops and/or mobile phone signal. Even if I have access to tampons.

Well, my reason is a simple question of value added tax. Wikipedia informs us that VAT “exemptions are intended to relieve the tax burden on essentials while placing the full tax on luxuries”, which goes some way to explain the widespread confusion on why women’s sanitary protection products still qualify VAT, albeit a reduced rate of 5%. Before 2001 VAT on these items was charged at the full rate so things have improved a tad, but zero-rated items include: books, newspapers, children’s clothing, food (not meals in restaurants or hot takeaways) and public transport. So, my tampons are technically considered to be more of a luxury than a copy Fifty Shades of Grey, are they? Hmm.

6 thoughts on “Feminism Friday: Luxury

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  1. Even weirder is that books are zero-rated, but eBooks are full-rate.

    I've never understood why tampons/towels etc. are VATable – except that most MPs are male, and historically the massive majority were male, and thus sanitary stuff was obviously “just for women's vanity” and thus a luxury.

  2. Get a mooncup – cheaper all round. I converted about six month ago and can't believe I waited so long! Saved myself so much money..and all the environmental and health benefits of course.

  3. Your tampons ARE more of a luxury than 50 Shades of Grey. That book was practically gruelling…

    It's ridiculous that sanitary products still have VAT on them. As if we could really go without them. Something ain't right.

  4. I am also a mooncup advocate, about a million times comfier than tampons for me, and i always hated having to carry the damn things round; inevitably once a cycle i'd lose at least one to to my handbag, the wrapping never seems to survive.

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