A students’ union in Nottingham is paying the VAT on tampons in its shops because some women have to fork out £77 a year in tax on top of the cost of the products.

Nottingham Trent’s Student Unions‘ (NTSU) Information and Advice Service has reduced the cost incurred by students as part of a Slice the Price campaign.


VAT on sanitary products, also known as the “tampon tax”, is currently charged at five per cent. Up until 2000 they were taxed at 17.5%.

Sanitary products are considered to be ”non-essential” items by the European Commission. However, products such as Jaffa Cakes and flapjacks have zero per cent VAT because they are considered ”essential” items.

In November 2015 Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced that £15million raised by tax on sanitary items would be donated to charities that help women dealing with domestic violence.