St Albans MP Anne Main votes against scrapping ‘tampon tax’
PUBLISHED: 15:51 28 October 2015 | UPDATED: 16:09 28 October 2015
St Albans MP Anne Main was one of 305 members to vote against scrapping the ‘tampon tax’ in Parliament on Tuesday (27).
Due to EU law, women’s sanitary products are currently deemed a ‘luxury item’, with a government tax of five per cent on them.
The vote was on an amendment to the Finance Bill, which would force David Cameron’s administration, namely Treasury Minister David Gauke, to launch talks with Brussels over the VAT levy on sanitary products.
Mrs Main, Conservative, voted against the amendment which was successful but she maintains that she supports the tax cut in the long term.
Her vote comes alongside that of Oliver Dowden, Hertsmere MP.
She said: “We wanted to press the government on the matter and it’s because of what the minister promised [that I voted against the amendment].
“I don’t see the point of voting against my own minister when he has stated that he will apply pressure where it is needed.
“We’ll be watching now; he’s not just going off the picture. I think it’s an important debate to have but his undertaking was sufficient.”
Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden also voted against scrapping the tax.
The debate generated cross-party support in the House of Commons, led by Labour MP Paula Sherrif who made the proposal.
David Gauke said: “I will raise this issue with the EC and other member states setting out our views – that it should be possible for member states to apply a zero rate to sanitary products.”
A petition entitled ‘Stop taxing periods. Period’, which gained more than 250,000 signatures, is campaigning for zero per cent tax and prompted the proposal.
Among tax-exempt items, deemed by government as essential, are helicopters, alcoholic jellies and exotic meats.
Laura Coryton, who set up the petition, said: “While we can live without flying our own private helicopters, we cannot live without the public participation of those who menstruate, which is dependent upon the accessibility of sanitary products.”
If you would like to sign the petition click here.