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Tampon VAT: Left demands free period products

Tampon VAT: Left demands free period products

The Left is calling on the federal government to take action against period poverty. In the star She calls for the removal of VAT on tampons and sanitary pads – and free hygiene products in public facilities.

On Women’s Day on March 8th, the Left is calling on the federal government to make tampons and sanitary pads available free of charge in public institutions and to abolish VAT on period products. “Hygiene items must be affordable for all women and girls,” said the federal managing director of the Left Party, Katina Schubert star. “Away with VAT on tampons and pads!”

Great Britain has completely eliminated the tax on these products. “Germany must follow this example so that no one here has to try to get by with tampons for longer and thus risk infections,” said Schubert.

Left-wing politician Katina Schubert.

The left-wing politician also advocates that, similar to Scotland, all schools and public institutions in Germany should be required to provide period products free of charge. “This gives women and girls more security in everyday life and particularly helps those affected with low incomes,” said the left-wing politician.

Surveys show that 80 percent of girls and women want free tampons and pads in public buildings. “These numbers must be a wake-up call for the federal government to finally remedy this.”

Tampon tax was reduced to 7 percent

In Scotland, the law requires public bodies to provide menstrual hygiene products free of charge. The requirement has applied to schools since 2021, and also to municipal and educational institutions since 2022. There is currently no such obligation in Germany. However, some cities, including Heidelberg, Tübingen and Karlsruhe, make free products available in public places.

When it comes to VAT on period products, there is a minimum tax of five percent in EU countries. Britain abolished VAT after Brexit, when the government in London was no longer bound by EU rules. Germany reduced the tax from 19 to seven percent in 2020 – but this is still above the five percent specified by EU rules. The reduced tax rate also applies to tampons and sanitary pads, but not to panty liners, for which 19 percent still applies. The reason: They are not an exclusive period product.

Some people delay changing tampons

In the week in which both Equal Pay Day on March 6th and International Women’s Day on March 8th fall, the Left is drawing attention to so-called period poverty – the fact that women and girls may not have suitable period products can afford. Almost a quarter of girls and women in Germany said in a representative survey from 2022 that monthly expenses for their period were a burden for them.

The survey by the aid organization Plan International also showed that 15 percent of those surveyed try to use as few tampons, pads or panty liners as possible. 12 percent deliberately delay changing products in order to get by with them for longer. You run the risk of infections. Almost half of those surveyed said they would be better supplied with the items if they were cheaper. 70 percent of 16 to 24 year olds said this.

Source: Stern

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