By Niamh Tracey | 7 February, 2024

VAT on period pants scrapped

Women will save up to £2 on period pants on average as the government scraps VAT on the underwear

From 1 January, women will save up to 16% on period pants following a pledge to scrap the tax made by the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt at the Autumn Statement 2023 and follows the end of the tampon tax in January 2021.

Around 80 MPs, charities and retailers called on the government to scrap the VAT in August 2023.

With Marks & Spencer spearheading the campaign, other retailers including Primark and Tesco have committed to pass the tax cut straight to the consumer. The cost of period pants ranges from £6 to £18 per pair.

Financial secretary to the Treasury, Nigel Huddleston, said: ‘This is a victory for women across the UK and for the campaigners who’ve helped raise awareness of the growing importance of period pants.

‘It’s only right that women and girls can find more affordable options for what has become an essential and environmentally friendly product.

‘Since reforming the ‘tampon tax’, the market for period underwear has expanded and they are now a mainstream choice for many women. The scrapping of the current VAT will ensure that period underwear is treated the same as traditional period products.’

Having left the EU, the UK is no longer legally bound by EU laws which saw sanitary products subject to five different rates of VAT between 1973 and 2021.

The move comes after the ‘Say Pants to the Tax’ campaign, led by retailers such as Marks & Spencer, women’s groups and environmentalists, called to scrap the tax.

Victoria McKenzie-Gould, corporate affairs director at Marks & Spencer, said: ‘Paying tax on period pants was a bum deal for women everywhere so we’re thrilled that the Treasury has done the right thing by axing the tax and levelling the playing field on period products for good.

‘Nearly 25% of women cite cost as a barrier to using period pants so we know the new legislation will make a big difference to women’s budgets across the UK.

‘A big thank you to WUKA, the tens of thousands of individuals, politicians, brand and retailers, who threw their weight behind our campaign – Say Pants to the Tax – and of course a big thank you to the Chancellor and HM Treasury team who made the change we were campaigning for a reality.’

Credit to Accountancy Daily.