Nigel’s response to the ‘Tampon Tax’ campaign:
Several constituents have contacted me about the ‘Tampon Tax’ campaign and I would like to assure those constituents that I am 100% in favour of having a zero VAT rating on sanitary products. But the online campaign has been launched without acknowledging the full facts around VAT on sanitary products.
VAT on sanitary products has been in place for over 30 years and the problem is that European Union laws do not allow VAT to be reduced on these products even if Parliament had voted for it. This is due to the EU VAT Directives, something which was strengthened in EU treaties signed by the last Labour government.
I am pleased that the Government has promised to go to the European Commission to try and get this EU law changed.
The current 5% VAT on women’s sanitary products is the lowest rate allowed by EU law. As we are currently a member of the EU, if we broke with EU laws it would be ruled unlawful by British Courts. This VAT issue does not only apply to sanitary products, but also energy bills. This is why I strongly support the Conservatives referendum on the EU (which was opposed by every other party including Labour, who proposed this disingenuous amendment on VAT on sanitary products) which will follow a renegotiation to get back our powers on these issues.
However, the Government has pledged to go to the European Commission and do everything possible to change EU law so that it is possible to apply a 0% rate to women’s sanitary products.