I have received some emails and Twitter messages about the vote in Parliament this week regarding sanitary products. For the record I think VAT charged at 5% on sanitary products is a disgrace. However, those that have sent generic emails and some unpleasant messages have done so because they have not been provided with all the information.

The reason Conservatives voted against the proposals was because they could not change this unfair tax. Only the European Union can authorise this. Of course, this brings up a far more fundamental issue and that is should the EU be telling us in this country which products we can or cannot charge tax or VAT on?

So we voted against because it was pointless political posturing. However, the Minister did go further than the proposal called for. He committed to raise the matter with the European Commission. I don’t think I know anyone who thinks this tax is fair or just and I am more than a little disappointed with the unpleasant campaign waged by online lobbying companies. It really doesn’t help.

The proposal.
“(1) Within three months of the passing of this Act, the Chancellor of the Exchequer shall lay before both Houses of Parliament a statement on his strategy to negotiate with the European Union institutions an exemption from value added tax for women’s sanitary protection products.
(2) A Minister of the Crown must lay before Parliament a report on progress at achieving an exemption from value added tax for women’s sanitary protection products within European Union law by 1 April 2016.”