Despite my best intentions and concerted efforts at maintaining naivety, when it comes to the delicate matter of periods and tampons I am, through no desire of my own, very much a modern man. For example, I know that upon getting into a relationship one should download a tracker app, make discrete or not so discrete enquires, and then on a monthly(ish) basis supply flowers / chocolate / hot water bottle / sympathy as required. This knowledge was forced into my head by friends and sisters I should probably take the opportunity to thank right now and apologise for my reluctance to listen.
Still, it is with some surprise that I find myself writing on such a topic as a tampon tax. Then again, as an economist, tax has always held a fascination for me. In particular, the most remarkable aspect of the whole tampon tax debate is the extent of the anger it generates.
A little bit of maths is in order here. All following figures are estimations gained from use of the internet. Hopefully they are still accurate. It was surprisingly hard to get concrete figures.
It is generally considered that the tampon tax, at 5%, costs a woman anywhere from £0.98 to £6.00 a year (depending on the brand bought). The other day, I heard someone on TV said that women were not able to afford food because of the tampon tax. Now, if by food what was meant was 1 to 1.5 Sainsbury Meal Deals a year, then this fact might be considered correct. As a general observation, this is a tiny amount of money even for the poorest of society.