Sanitary Protection: VAT

HM Treasury written question – answered on 28th January 2015.

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Photo of Stella Creasy Stella Creasy Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the amount of VAT collected from the sale of sanitary products in the last five years.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

VAT receipts from the sale of sanitary products subject to the reduced rate of VAT are estimated to have been approximately £15m in each of the last five years.

A reduced rate of VAT of 5% currently applies to female sanitary products. This has been in place since 2001 and is the lowest rate possible under EU law.

The application of VAT in the EU, including rates and flexibilities afforded to member states in this regard, is governed by EU law. The Government cannot introduce a new zero rate as this would require a change to EU VAT legislation, which would require a proposal from the European Commission and the unanimous agreement of all 28 member states.

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