Scottish Lib Dems and SNP launch bid to end 'unfair Tory tampon tax'


A cross-party call to abolish the "unfair Tory tampon tax" has been launched in Scotland.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have voted unanimously to campaign for feminine hygiene products to be reclassified from their current status as "non-essential luxury goods" liable for 5% VAT.

The SNP has today indicated that it will table an amendment to the UK Government Finance Bill on Monday to commit the Treasury to publishing a report on the impact of abolishing VAT on these products.

The UK Government would need the consent of the European Union before it could abolish the tax.

In a motion to the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference in Dunfermline, Highland councillor Kate Stephen said: "Conference asks the Scottish Government and the UK Government to seek agreement from all European Union member states to stop taxing periods."

Speaking ahead of the Finance Bill debate on Monday, SNP MP Alison Thewliss said: "The SNP has long called for the abolition of the unfair tampon tax, and after five years of inaction from this Tory Government, it's time for George Osborne to set out when we can expect the VAT rules to be changed.

"Sanitary protection products are not an optional luxury, they are an essential product for over half the population.

"It is absurd that while men's razors, children's nappies and even products like Jaffa Cakes, exotic meats and edible cake decorations are free from VAT, women are still having to pay additional costs on what is already an expensive yet vital product.

"The SNP amendment to the Finance Bill will secure progress towards a VAT exemption on sanitary products and it will provide the Government with an opportunity to explain why they have made so little progress on this issue over so many years.

"The failure of this Tory Government to negotiate the abolition of VAT on sanitary products over a period of five years suggests that either they are inept or they aren't genuinely committed to ending this unfair tax on women."