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Women Unconvinced By Osborne’s Pledge To Donate “Tampon Tax” To Women’s Charities

The chancellor said the £15 million raised by the tax on sanitary products each year will be used to fund women’s health and support charities.

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Funds raised by the controversial "tampon tax" will be donated to women's charities, chancellor George Osborne announced in his spending review on Wednesday.

£15 million a year raised from the #TamponTax to fund women’s health and support charities #SpendingReview

Under EU law, women's sanitary products are subject to a 5% VAT rate as they are considered to be "non-essential, luxury" items.

Under the same law, a Jaffa Cake is not subject to VAT because cake is not classed as a luxury item.

Last month, MPs voted against a motion forcing the Treasury to challenge Brussels over the the tax.

Osborne said on Wednesday that the government would continue to review the "tampon tax" and that in the meantime, the £15 million raised by the tax each year would be donated to women's health and support charities.

While the extra funding for women's charities was welcomed, many felt the charities should receive funding in addition to the "tampon tax" being abolished.

Here's an idea. Remove the tampon tax & fund women's services anyway. 85,000 rapes a year. 1.2 million DV incidents. 2 murdered women a week

Some said the move was asking women to fund their own support for domestic violence.

Women to fund their own care and support for domestic abuse through the sanitary products they have to buy #spendingreview

As Osborne made the announcement, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley Jess Phillips, an avid campaigner for women's rights, could be heard shouting in parliament: "You're not paying it, George, I am!"

. @jessphillips shouts: "You're not paying it George, I am!"

There were also calls for further protests.

Protests by British women over the tax have ranged from sarcastically tweeting "luxurious uses for tampons", to "free-bleeding" – the term used for a woman not using sanitary products during her period – outside the houses of parliament.

When the amendment was rejected at the end of last month, Labour MP Paula Sherriff told MPs: "Frankly, VAT on tampons is the vagina added tax. It is a tax on women, pure and simple."

Charlie Edge / Via

While women continue to call for a ban on the tax, many were left wondering on Wednesday where funding for women's charities would come from if the "tampon tax" is abolished.

What happens when #tampontax is eventually abolished? Where is Osborne's long term economic plan for women's safety? #spendingreview

george osbourne's plan to give #tampontax money to women's orgs will undoubtably be used to justify further cuts to their services

Equating these two things is grotesque. "Women, stop complaining about the tampon tax - it's for your own good!"

So essentially women who bleed every month fund vital services for women who are victims of violence? #Everydaysexism #spendingreview

Laura Silver is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Laura Silver at

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