VAT on sanitary products

Many constituents have contacted me since the Parliamentary vote on Monday (26 October 2015) concerning the Labour party’s amendment to the Finance Bill, which proposed changes to the VAT on sanitary products, the so called “tampon tax”.

This is an important issue, but the changes that were proposed by Labour were not within the Government’s power to introduce. Sanitary products are already discounted at the five percent rate of VAT charged, but VAT law is governed by the EU, and they have determined the products which may be zero rated.

To introduce a zero rate would require a change to EU law, which would require agreement of all 28 member states.

The Government has agreed to raise it with the European Commission and other EU members with the view that it should be possible for a member state to apply a zero rate to sanitary products.