Stella Creasy summed up why tampons are not 'luxury' items during a discussion on the proposed amendment to the Finance Bill on Tuesday. The amendment would renegotiate the five per cent tax applied to sanitary products.
Her joke-filled rant took aim at other products that are not taxed, such as Jaffa Cakes and razors, while sanitary products are still considered to be a ‘luxury item’.
"Tampons and sanitary towels, even I'm struggling with the words tonight it seems, have always been considered a luxury. That isn't by accident, that's by design of an unequal society, in which the concerns of women are not treated as equally as the concerns of men," she began.
Creasy continued: "Jaffa Cakes are zero rated, now I am not a fan of Jaffa Cakes, let it be known. If you offer me a Jaffa Cake I will refuse, but I do not consider them to be essential to my life. I can give or take them.
"I recongnise that razors are [also] zero rated, judging by some of the members opposite, the opportunity to shave everyday is for many of them a human right. They are cleanly shaven, I'm sure they would be concerned to be charged in that way. So too perhaps one we can all agree on, as a necessity.
"Pitta bread is zero rated. What is the kebab, without a good pitta bread around it? It is a necessity?" she continued.
"It is when you start looking at what is described as a necessity and what is described as a luxury, that you see the inequalities in this debate."
Earlier in the debate Creasy won over viewers after making Tory MP Bill Cash say the word "tampons", after he frequently referred to them as "products."
The outcome of the vote ended in a tight win for the government, MP's voting by 305 to 287 to block an outright call for removing the levy on women's sanitary products, but at the cost of promising to raise the issue with EU leaders.
Currently, tampons are subject to EU tax, meaning that women are charged a government fee to purchase them, on top of the costs incurred by retailers, topped up by profit margins.