The Students’ Unions Selling Tax-Free Tampons

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Despite a petition demanding George Osborne stop taxing sanitary items receiving more than 300,000 signatures, the chancellor of the exchequer has yet to remove tampons and pads from the “luxurious, non-essential” category.

However some students’ unions across the country are way ahead of the government, and have already started selling tax free sanitary items in their campus stores, with some even giving them away for nothing.

Student Daisy Lindlar was responsible for introducing free tampons at Birmingham University’s SU, and says she did so to help female students with the cost of living.

“This is what leaves them struggling financially,” she told HuffPost UK. “The cost of periods adds an extra financial pressure to students, particularly when you factor in things like painkillers and new underwear. I know students who literally can’t afford to have periods, and that’s completely unfair.

“I’m lucky because I didn’t actually have to campaign much – everyone was so supportive of the idea and the feedback I’ve got has been amazing. I’d really encourage SUs to do the same because they need to take a stance against this unfair cost that disproportionately affects women, and to help end the ridiculous stigma there is around talking about periods.”

She added: “We’re shamed into keeping quiet about them, which means we’re shamed into keeping quiet about the cost as well, and SUs can be a really powerful voice not just internally but nationally. SUs and the National Union of Students have the potential to tackle the government on issues like tampon tax, but they have to all be behind it in order to make an impact.”

Here are the SUs which are well ahead of the game:

  • Norwich University of the Arts
    Norwich University of the Arts
    The students’ union has been providing free sanitary products to students since February 2015.
  • Cambridge University
    diluvienne/Flickr
    (Although this is decided by individual colleges)
  • Keele University
    Keele University
  • Derby University
    Derby University
  • University of the West of England
    UWE
  • Reading University
    Reading University
  • Leicester University
    Leicester University
  • Exeter University
    Exeter University
  • Nottingham University
    Nottingham University
  • University of the Arts, London
    UAL
  • Birmingham University
    Birmingham University
    Birmingham University’s students’ union provides free products to its students
  • Aberystwyth University
    Aberystwyth University





HuffPost UK is running a month-long project in March called All Women Everywhere, providing a platform to reflect the diverse mix of female experience and voices in Britain today. Through features, video and blogs, we’ll be exploring the issues facing women specific to their age, ethnicity, social status, sexuality and gender identity. If you’d like to blog on our platform around these topics, email ukblogteam@Creativefitnessllc.com with a summary of who you are and what you’d like to blog about



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