Retailer campaign to scrap tax on period underwear approved by chancellor

A campaign started by Marks and Spencer (M&S) calling on the government to remove a 20 per cent VAT tax from period underwear has been successful.

In the Autumn Statement, chancellor Jeremy Hunt said legislation would be introduced to remove the tax from period underwear.

The campaign was started by M&S in August, with other retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Primark lending their support to the campaign.

The government removed the tax on sanitary products in 2021 but as period pants were classified as garments, they were eligible for tax despite being more sustainable than single use plastic products.

M&S estimates their customers had paid more than £1.8million in VAT on period underwear since 2021, leading the retailer to start the campaign.

In a statement on its website, the retailer said: “In just over 100 days, tens of thousands of people have come together to support the campaign. From the UK’s biggest knicker retailers and independent period pant brands to cross-party MPs, celebrities, fantastic charities including Wellbeing of Women and Bloody Good Period, and our 65,000 colleagues. We’ve been overwhelmed by the support. So, thank you for making sure the chancellor said ‘pants to the tax’ today.”

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