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Women's Money From The Tampon Tax Is Going To An Anti-Abortion Charity – But Where Else?

Charities based in London are set to receive £2,139,618 in funding from the tax. Scottish charities will receive less than half that amount.

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London charities will receive as much as 10 times more funding than those in eastern England under a scheme to redistribute money from the tampon tax.

Under government plans, 70 charities will benefit from a shared pot of £12 million, but the distribution of the funds will be skewed towards the capital.

Charities based in London are set to receive £2,139,618 in funding from the government. In comparison, Scottish charities will receive less than half that amount.

Breaking down the numbers in proportion to the area's population shows the capital will receive vastly more than some regions. Divided by the population's total, taken from the 2011 census, the fund will allocate £0.26 per person in London, compared to £0.02 per person in eastern England.

Charities that serve the entire country see each individual allocated £0.04 – far off the high London levels. Regional disparities abound, with charities in the West Midlands (£1,159,401) and the South East (£938,401) getting more than either Scotland (£1,064,716) or Wales (£662,642).

Funding by area

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Additional controversy over the funding erupted over the weekend when it emerged the government had awarded £250,000 to the anti-abortion Life charity.

The organisation received one of the largest grants, quietly announced in a separate long list of charities, with the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) labelling the decision "appalling".

A BPAS spokesperson condemned the grant, especially in light of the dire state of current funding, and told BuzzFeed News an online form set up on Sunday to complain about the funding directly to the government minister had already facilitated more than 8,000 letters being sent.

They added: "Life has an absolute right to campaign against abortion, but it is shocking that the tax on women's sanitary goods will support their ability to do so."

Labour MPs Paula Sherriff and Jess Philips also added their voices to the outcry.

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Women's organisations trust women to make decisions with no judgement. life do exact opposite

Sherriff, who has campaigned to raise awareness of period poverty, told The Guardian it was "bitterly ironic" that women were taxed for their biology, only to have that money handed over by the government to "organisations that don’t even believe we should have control over our own bodies".

A spokesperson for Life said: "We believe that our support services for women are not a luxury but are essential for them to have the space to look at options for continuing their pregnancies with support.”

In the longer list quietly published online, following the public announcement, was the Society for the Assistance of Ladies in Reduced Circumstances (SALRC), which received the second-largest lump sum grant, of £400,000.

Funding by charity

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SALRC, founded in 1886 by Edith Smallwood, aims to help women of working age.

The charity, which operates nationally, according to the most recent filings on Charities Commission, appears to receive most of its funding from private donations. It has around £28 million in invested endowments. A spokesperson for the charity was unavailable when contacted by BuzzFeed News.

Ten of the organisations receiving funds specifically cater to black and minority ethnic women, following a report last year that found black and Asian charities were hardest hit by government cuts. These groups will receive just under £2.5 million between them.

It comes following a long-running campaign to scrap the tampon tax. Instead of actually scrapping the tax, then chancellor George Osborne announced last year that the money would be given to women's charities.

Funding by group

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Charities supporting the LGBT and disabled communities were the next two best-funded groups.

Funding by issue

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The grants also support stalking prevention and counseling charities You Trust and Black Country Women's Aid, as well as South London's Suzy Lamplugh Trust, which will use the grant to increase the casework support service for victims of stalking.

The majority of the funding will be distributed to organisations helping women fleeing from domestic or sexual violence.

In total, approximately £7 million in funding will go to these groups, such as Southall Black Sisters, Angelou Centre, Tender UK, and Refuge.

A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson told BuzzFeed News in a statement: "The available funds from the Tampon Tax were promoted to relevant organisations across the UK.

"Applications were all assessed against consistent criteria and the latest round of the fund will benefit disadvantaged women and girls in towns and cities across the country."

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

Rose Troup Buchanan is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Tom Phillips is the UK editorial director for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Tom Phillips at tom.phillips@buzzfeed.com.

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