Primark and Tesco join Marks & Spencer’s campaign to axe VAT on period underwear
Since launching Say Pants to the Tax a week ago, M&S and WUKA’s campaign has attracted the support of charities, businesses and politicians from all parties.
Victoria McKenzie-Gould, corporate affairs director at M&S, said: “We’ve been blown away by the response to this campaign. More than 20,000 people have added their name to the petition and dozens of supporters have signed the open letter urging the government to remove the VAT from period pants.
“Building such strong support in just one week must show the Government that making this simple change is important to people across the UK. Our next goal is 100,000 signatures and we’re continuing to ask everyone to add their voice to the overwhelming support we’ve already seen.”
Primark and Tesco have now committed to pass on the cost saving to customers if VAT is removed. Furthermore, Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, has put her name to the campaign.
Kari Rodgers, Primark UK retail director, said: “We are happy to get behind this important initiative and applaud M&S and WUKA for leading the charge. We believe that period pants should be as affordable and accessible to as many as possible and this small change will make a difference for many of our customers and colleagues. This campaign is about ensuring wherever you shop, you aren’t unfairly penalised when buying period products.”
Christine Heffernan, group communications director for Tesco, added: “The cost of buying essential period products can be a real struggle for many people and that’s why Tesco became the first retailer to cover the cost of VAT on period products in 2017. We welcomed the Government’s decision to abolish the ‘Tampon Tax’ on disposable period products in 2021. We’re now joining M&S and other retailers to urge the Government to do the same for Period Pants helping to make this more sustainable option more affordable for customers.”
Charities supporting the campaign include the likes of Freedom4Girls, Wellbeing of Women, and Bloody Good Period.
The campaign is also live in M&S stores where customers can scan a QR code which takes them straight through to sign the petition.