Stop the Tampon Tax: Florence is the first city in Italy

Stop the Tampon Tax: Florence is the first city in Italy

The cycle is not a luxury: the capital of the Tuscany region abolishes the tampon tax in favor of economic social equity

Do you know how much it costs to be a woman today? Much, or certainly much more than the male counterpart. We had already addressed the subject in an article, analyzing the costs incurred by women, including those of the purchase of women's sanitary towels, complete with taxes to pay (the so-called tampon tax).

And this value added tax, applied to sanitary pads, tampons and menstrual cups, has been talked about for years. The truth is that the tampon tax is an unjust tax because it considers these products on the market a luxury item, and not a fundamental necessity as they are.

In Italy, the VAT on female sanitary napkins was introduced in 1973 and then grew from 12 to 22% on a par with other goods and services. Even the truffle has had a better fate in our country since, considered an essential asset, it has a rate of only 4%.

In the rest of Europe the situation is rather fragmented: in Hungary, women pay 27% VAT on feminine hygiene products, while Ireland has chosen to exempt these items from taxes. Scotland, some time ago, launched a program to tackle the economic difficulties of women during the menstrual period, starting to distribute feminine sanitary towels and tampons to all female students free of charge. Spain and France, on the other hand, have applied a reduced rate to these products, but it is not enough.

And it is from this awareness that Florence has abolished the tampon tax in pharmacies because the cycle is not a luxury. Thus the Tuscan capital, the first in Italy, has chosen to take the side of women to support social and economic equity. A strong and important signal that is opposed to all those EU member states that continue to apply the same taxes to sanitary napkins, internal and external, that apply to tablets, jewelry, wine and cigarettes.

But there is an air of change, as evidenced by the choice of the Italian municipality which, we hope, will lead the way for the whole country. From now on, the 21 municipal pharmacies in Florence will no longer charge VAT on female sanitary napkins. The motion was voted by the City Council and VAT will be abolished until March 31, 2022 with the hope that, in the meantime, a national law will be passed.

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