Pictured on your left are two items – one of which a large percentage of the population needs to buy and use regularly, and the other is a tampon.
Yup, this is the news that UK Prime Minister David Cameron faces a possible Commons defeat over the “tampon tax” as a group of Conservatives prepares to vote with Labour and other opposition parties (such as the SNP) to demand a strategy that will end the VAT on sanitary products.
VAT on sanitary products currently stands at 5 percent, and the attempt to get rid of VAT is led by Labour MP Paula Sheriff, who is tabling an amendment to the finance bill. Cameron has argued that is the EU that sets the rules on VAT and it would be difficult to get them overturned.
An amendment would force the Chancellor George Osborne to set out how he would negotiate the end of VAT on sanitary products.
VAT is a form of consumption tax, or a tax on the purchase price. Jaffa cakes have no VAT because they are classified as cakes, rather than biscuits and cakes are zero-rated. Customs and Excise took this case to tribunal – and lost because the tribunal thought Jaffa cakes “had enough characteristics of cakes to be accepted as such, and they were therefore zero-rated”.
So – Public Health England has called for a sugar tax in a bid to reduce this country’s battle with obesity, as we wrote about on The Diabetes Diet last week.
Jaffa cakes* escape taxes on the purchase price because they are “cakes” (why do cakes get to be zero-rated anyway?), and in the meantime David Cameron drags his heels over working to get rid of the extra money women pay for tampons and sanitary towels on top of having to buy them in the first place.
Crazy old world, hmm?
Ingredients in Jaffa cakes: Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Plain Chocolate (19%) [Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Vegetable Fats (Palm, Sal and/or Shea), Butter Oil (Milk), Cocoa Butter, Emulsifiers (Soya Lecithin, E476), Natural Flavouring], Sugar, Flour (Wheat Flour, Calcium, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin), Whole Egg, Water, Dextrose Monohydrate, Concentrated Orange Juice (8% Orange Juice Equivalent), Glucose Syrup, Vegetable Oils (Sunflower, Palm), Humectant (Glycerin), Acid (Citric Acid), Gelling Agent (Pectin), Emulsifiers (E471, Soya Lecithin), Raising Agents (Ammonium Bicarbonate, Disodium Diphosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Dried Whole Egg, Acidity Regulator (Sodium Citrate), Natural Orange Flavouring, Colour (Curcumin).