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People Are Angry That Menstruating Women Will Be Used To Fund Charities

The £12 million raised will be shared between a range of women's charities, the chancellor announced on Wednesday.

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A plan to share £12 million raised by an unpopular tax on tampons between a number of women's charities has been met with anger by those who think the levy should be scrapped altogether.

Chancellor George Osborne announced the move on Wednesday while delivering his Budget in the House of Commons.

It has provoked a backlash, with many critics arguing that women shouldn't have to pay tax to fund charities such as Breast Cancer Care.

So now women have to pay tax to fund charities? #tampontax wth this is ridiculous! #Budget2016

Sanitary products are currently considered "luxury and non-essential" items by the European Commission, which means that 5% of the money raised through sales goes directly to the government.

Though some welcomed the move to donate £12 million to good causes, others maintained the premise of the tampon tax was still unfair and should be addressed.

Well done to all the menstruating women in the UK for our kind support of women's charities via the unfair #tampontax. #Budget2016 @WEP_UK

They argued the move was nothing to celebrate as women would be "financing their own support" and women's bodies were paying for "men's violence".

I don't see why people are celebrating the tampon tax? Tax people who menstrate, to help women beaten by men...

Route of #tampontax revenue to domestic violence charities puts them in tricky position; women's bodies paying 4 men's violence #budget2016

I repeat my comments that it is not responsibility of women to finance their own domestic violence support with a "tampon tax" #Budget2016

Government is basically saying: "pay to be a woman and we'll use that money to stop men hitting you lot" #tampontax #Budget2016

Some noticed that £12 million figure was actually £3 million short of what the government first proposed in the Autumn Statement last year.

Trying to figure out why there's a £3m gap in the #tampontax fund between Autumn Statement and #Budget2016

Some suggested that men should have to match the £12 million.

So all the money women have to spend plugging up every month will go to charity..can all the male@MP's match this monthly pls? #tampontax 🤔

Others highlighted that many women living in poverty struggled to afford sanitary products.

A tampon tax, when you can't afford sanitary items to start with is not awesome

A food bank volunteer told BuzzFeed News women had confessed to using old socks, handkerchiefs, and even scrunched-up newspapers instead of tampons.

Major Colin Bradshaw said that volunteers were "saddened and horrified" by the stories told by women, many of whom had ended up in hospital because of infections.

They have now started a campaign urging the government to make sanitary products free for women in poverty.

Last year a petition urging the government to stop taxing periods called the tampon tax "outdated and overtly sexist".

Laura Coryton, who launched that petition, also pointed out that items such as marshmallow teacakes, exotic meats, and gambling were exempt from being taxed on luxury grounds.

But although the campaign has reached over 300,000 signatures, no changes were made and the tampon tax still remains.

Fiona Rutherford is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Fiona Rutherford at

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