Period is not a luxury. And finally, after years of failed attempts and broken promises, the Draghi government to recognize it. Moreover, if the truffle is considered a basic necessity, so much so as to be taxed “only” at 10% (5% when fresh), it was now impossible to deny that the 22% VAT on sanitary napkins was an unfair tax. The reduction of the “tampon tax“, As it is called, was launched by the government on October 19 in the 2022 maneuver and included in the note that follows the approval of the Dpb by the Council of Ministers.
The demands of women
To confirm this, late yesterday evening, the final press release of Palazzo Chigi, at the end of the Cdm that approved the programmatic budget document, where, among the measures, the cut from 22% to 10% of VAT on absorbent products for feminine hygiene. For some time the feminist movements (but not only them) have been clamoring for a reduction in the tax. Since mid-July, for example, Laura Sparavigna (city councilor of Florence), and Lucrezia Iurlaro (president of the Tocca a noi association), have been taking the Tampon Tax Tour from Sicily to Trentino to explain precisely that sanitary pads are not luxury goods. , but essential: people they cannot choose whether to use them or not, but the state can decide if and how much to tax them.
How much do sanitary pads cost
Moreover, the requests made several times over the years for a downward adjustment had never obtained results from the governments, which have always been entrenched behind the excessive costs to cover the measure. But how much does a woman spend on tampons? By calculating that a pack of 14 pieces costs around 4-5 euros and normally you need at least two packs a month, on average the outlay comes to about 126 euros in one year. And of these 126 as many as 22.88 euros have been VAT up to now. Now, the government is convinced: it will not be a reduction to 4 or 5% as hoped for by many, but the VAT cut of over 50%, with an average saving of about 10 euros (last year after the amendment to the Maneuver first signed by Laura Boldrini, the Mef had estimated that bringing the rate to 5% needed 300 million euros).
How it works abroad
Italy with 22% VAT on period products (precisely the internal and external sanitary pads, cups, tampons, etc.) was not that worse: in Hungary, for example, the tax equal to 27%, while in Norway, Sweden and Denmark the percentage is close to 25%. Virtuous insteadIreland which in 2006 decided to cancel the tax, even before Brussels passed a non-legislative resolution on 24 June last which stresses the need to remove all barriers to sexual and reproductive health services. So did the UK too, heralding it as a positive consequence of Brexit. Meanwhile, 5% VAT on sanitary towels and similar in Cyprus and 5.5% in France. It rises to 6% in Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands, to 13% in Greece. But New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has done more: to fight the period poverty, the social disparity of menstruation, ie class and gender discrimination linked to the menstrual cycle, has decided to distribute free tampons and tampons to girls in all New Zealand schools since last summer.