Klara Rants: Tampon Tax

Tampon Tax is an issue I have felt strongly about for a long time but I have refrained from putting up a blog post about it until I could read up on the tax and make sure I was properly informed before I wrote about it. According to EU law, European countries must impose a minimum of 5% tax on tampons. In the UK, this tax is added to the cost of tampons, sanitary towels and all other feminine hygiene products. This is ridiculous as tampons are in no way a 'luxury item', they are a necessity. Getting your period is not a choice, it is painful and uncomfortable and therefore tampons should be exempt from tax in the same way other medications and basic human necessities are. Women could not function if once a month they had to hide away in their homes and free bleed for a week, not least because they are already earning less than men (in 2016 the gender pay gap was 9.4%) and need to be at work more often to earn the same as a man (who doesn't then have to spend his hard earned money on sanitary items). The tax was originally introduced in 1973 when Britain joined the common market, which means that this basic and insulting sexism has been ingrained in our country for over 40 years. The Labour government in 2000 managed to reduce this tax by 12.5%, and this year many supermarkets such as Tescos and Waitrose have started paying the tax for you, but it is simply not enough. The sexist principle's the problem more then the money. Last year, a debate was held in parliament over pushing the removal of the tampon tax, but Britain's MPs voted against it. This is ridiculously unfair as at the time of the vote there were only 196 female MPs in comparison to the 453 male. This means that more than two thirds of the people who were eligible to vote on this matter did not even have a uterus of their own. Of those voters, 305 voted against the removal of the tax which disappoints me immensely. I can't comprehend that in this day and age there are still that many people who are that deeply sexist. #endtampontax