Women in Germany are rejoicing in the country fell tampons, pads and other feminine products. The campaign activists of the women’s rights movement was a success.
Millions of German women, rejoice: from 1 January 2020 in Germany, significantly fell tampons, pads, menstrual cups, bandages and other products of intimate hygiene. According to the November 2019 the decision of the Bundestag, the size of the value added tax (VAT) for those goods, so necessary to the fair sex upon the occurrence of the “critical days” decreased from 19 to 7 percent, equaling the tax rate on daily necessities. Prior to this, means of intimate hygiene, along with tobacco and alcohol, were treated in Germany in the category of “luxury items” and taxed at the maximum rate. What made the MPs to change their classification?
Petition against the high tax on tampons
Such action had placed on the online platform Change.org and addressed to German government e-petition, which in 2018 is initiated by two students from Hamburg – activists of the movement for women’s rights Nunn-Josephine of roloff (Nanna-Josephine Roloff) and yasmin KOTRA (Kotra Yasemin). About 200 thousand signatures collected their published document. And among those who endorsed him, not only women but also men. The appeal was supported by manufacturers of tampons, as well as shopping for necessities.
“This is not a luxury, and the tax on them should be reduced” – demanded the initiators of the petition. From their point of view, in conditions when in Germany in the category of consumer goods along with food products included bouquets of flowers, and travel tickets for public transport, this is absolutely unfair.
The fact that in Germany there are two VAT rates. Total is 19% and reduced 7 per cent. Reduced VAT rate applies to food and necessities. But no incidents here is not complete. Curious, say that the category of 7 per cent fall, animal feed, salmon caviar, decorative figurines, while baby food, mineral water, medicines are subject to VAT at 19 per cent rate. These are just a few examples.
Tax discrimination against women?
As noted present at the fateful meeting of the Bundestag, the German journalist Jules Schulte (Schulte Jule), menstruation is a natural process in a woman’s body, which “does not depend on whether she likes it or not”, and it happens every month for 40 years of life. So for the purchase of disposable personal hygiene women have to spend a lot of money. Nunn-Josephine roloff, and even called the high VAT on feminine products “tax discrimination of women based on sex” that is inconsistent with the Basic law of Germany.
Ulla of Shows (Ulle Schauws), representing the faction of Alliance 90/Greens women’s policy, this situation is not especially surprising. She recalls that more than two thirds of seats in the German Parliament are occupied by men, who, from the “female” so far.
Whatever it was, made in Germany, the campaign ended successfully: the German Bundestag in the end voted for the reduction of VAT on accessories of personal hygiene, and now prices are 10 percent decreased. Meanwhile, a number of other countries in this respect, Germany is far ahead. In Kenya, for example, the VAT on such goods lifted in 2011. It was abolished in Canada, Australia and India significantly lowered in France, Spain and the UK.
Tax on tampons – one of the trump cards of skeptics
However, the ability to abolish the so-called “tax on tampons” does not exist in every country. In the European Union currently, the minimum rate VAT on women’s sanitary products is 5 percent, and further reductions in the EU are not allowed. That is why in the UK the tax on tampons has become one of the trumps supporters “Brekzita”: the inclusion of feminine hygiene products in the list of goods with zero VAT they announced one of the points of his program.
The only EU country in which the tax on tampons, pads and other feminine hygiene products is not charged, is Ireland. It completely abolished it even prior to the introduction of the EU minimum VAT rate of 5 percent. However, soon her example can follow and other members of the European Union: 2022 minimum rate of VAT on tampons and other Essentials for women is planned to cancel.