Your Period Just Got Compared To Corrupt Bankers In Tampon Tax Shake-Up
The Debrief: Tampon Tax is to go to women’s services, but really, should women have to pay for their own services via an unfair tax?
Today, the Autumn Budget/Spending Review/time when George Osborne barks a lot of stuff about money and funding and essentially tells us how the government will be spending our money, was announced.
And the big news – beyond the fact that tax credits won’t be cut as Osborne had previously promised – for young women, at least, is that the tampon tax is going to remain. Not just that, though, this ‘luxury’ tax on a products that are necessary to women’s month-to-month living, will then be siphoned off into women’s charities and shelters.
Here are the words he used: ‘I’m going to use the £15 million a year raised from the Tampon Tax to fund women’s health and support charities. The first £5 million will be distributed between the Eve Appeal, SafeLives and Women’s Aid and The Haven – and I invite bids from other such good causes.’
‘It’s similar to how we use LIBOR fines’.
It was then announced by the Treasury’s Twitter account:
You might not know about Libor fines, but it’s basically where bankers who’ve gambled huge amounts on rigged banking systems are fined, with the proceeds going to good causes.
Yes, the Chancellor just compared your period, a naturally occurring thing, to a swindling banker who rigged bank exchange systems to skim off the top. And there you were, under the impression that your period wasn’t a sign of devilry or wrongdoing!
Aside from this, the problems with the Tampon Tax are abundant, but here are just a few in the light of today’s announcement:
1. The tax is still unequal
Men are not taxed to pay towards women’s services, neither are women who don’t menstruate.
2. Why is it only women who are contributing to these services?
With two women killed a week by their partners or ex-partners and a quarter of women being affected by domestic violence, surely we should all be contributing to the funding of these services, not just women.
3. Who got shelters and refuges into this mess?
Women’s services and shelters only need the extra funding because the situation is so dire and under-funded that one third of women who’ve summoned the courage to leave an abusive partner (it takes several attempts for a woman to leave someone abusive) are being turned away.
4. Women can now feel extra guilty
Is getting cross at the Tampon Tax’s route into women’s services worth it? Or should we be grateful that some money is going into women’s services?! Should we have to be making this choice?
5. Why compare the two anyway?
While tampons and sanitary towels are a women's issue, violence against women isn't just a women's issue. Why bundle the two together like that? Should men's razors have a tax added to them with the funds going to men's mental health charities?
Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, had this to say:
Govt plan to fund VAWG support services w #tampontax not income tax v revealing. WE are 51 pct of population. NOT A SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP.— SophieWalker (@SophieRunning) November 25, 2015
If there was a tax on nodding in agreement with her comments, we could probably solve the deficit right now.
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Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson
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