The Chancellor said he was "committed" to persuading the EU to let Britain scrap the 5 percent levy on women's sanitary products. However, until that happens, he pledged that the money would be put to "good use".
Obviously, £15 million per year to women's charities is a good thing. But this is a little more complicated than that — as the great people of Twitter pointed out today.
I actually thought the #tampontax was a joke. Funding women's charities? Is Alan Partridge in government?— Jonathan Harvey (@JOJEHARVEY) November 25, 2015
Women already give countless volunteer hours and money to keep women's services afloat. The #tampontax is just another burden on females.— That Big Old Moon (@Bigoldsupermoon) November 25, 2015
"Well at least they are funding women's refuges" No, WE are. #tampontax— MurderOfGoths (@MurderOfGoths) November 25, 2015
Women's health charities should be in a position to GIVE AWAY free tampons. Not depend on a #tampontax to get basic funding. GRAAARHGHHHH.— Sara Barnard (@saramegan) November 25, 2015
Sarah Horley CBE, chief executive of national domestic violence charity Refuge, made the following statement to Mashable: "Refuge is pleased that the Government has announced £15 million in today’s Autumn Statement for women’s charities. Charities like Refuge provide vital support and a safe-haven for women escaping domestic violence and abuse. Support which literally saves lives. And, this money is desperately needed. Over the last few years funding for these life-saving services has been severely cut. Since 2011, Refuge has experienced a reduction in funding across 80% of its service contracts.
"However, Refuge is disappointed that this money has been allocated from funds raised from the 'Tampon Tax'. Perversely, this is a tax on women to pay for their own protection. A protection which should be their right. The patronising implication, yet again, is that issues like domestic violence are just ‘women’s issues’. But we know that domestic violence must be dealt with by society as a whole if we are ever to see real, lasting change.
"We hope that this funding will be part of a longer-term sustainable funding solution to tackle violence against women and look forward to seeing how the funds will be distributed in due course."
The petition to scrap "tampon tax" now has over 270,000 signatures.
The description reads: "David Cameron has accepted that removing sanitary tax will be 'very difficult to do but I’ll have to go away and have a look and come back to you'. Well Mr Cameron, it’s time for a response. We need to know why the Government still taxes sanitary products on luxurious, 'non-essential' grounds, but not helicopters, the maintenance of our private jets, or crocodile steaks. If you value the functioning of those who menstruate at least as much as you enjoy your flying crocodile Fridays then sign our petition and join our campaign."
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