‘Sexist’ tampon tax to stay despite Senate saying GST should not apply to sanitary products
A UK MP has apologised for turning up late to Parliament, saying she has her period.
Scottish Labour MP Danielle Rowley told the Speaker:
“I would like to announce to you today, and to the House — and perhaps [you] will excuse me for my lateness — that today I’m on my period, and it’s cost me this week already 25 [British] pounds ($44).”
Ms Rowley raised the issue of “period poverty”, saying the annual average cost of having a period in the UK was about 500 British pounds ($889).
“Many women can’t afford this,” she said.
She was praised by people on social media for discussing the “taboo” topic in Parliament.
Karen Ingala Smith tweet: I admire MP Danielle Rowley for talking about her period in the HoC today. For me illustrates why we need women in parliament.
FireWomon tweet: I’d really like to thank @DaniRowley for talking about her period in Parliament. All girls/women are made to feel dirty for talking about – or even having – periods, and it’s frankly ridiculous that it’s such a taboo subject.
But others questioned the amount of money Ms Rowley said women spent on their sanitary products.
Lovely Lady tweet: I have every sympathy for this cause but £25 per week seems unlikely cost??
Books from the Past tweet: No one pays that amount. We usually pay between £2.50 to £5 a month. I’m not saying she is lying, I am just saying she isn’t representative of the majority of women on this subject.
In Australia, the cost of pads and tampons has been a hot political issue since GST was introduced in 2000.
Earlier this month, the Senate voted to scrap the tax on sanitary products, but the bill was not expected to pass the House of Representatives because the Coalition Government does not support the change.