George Osborne has been accused of making women pay for their own charities by refusing to scrap the 'tampon tax' and ploughing the levy into refuges instead.
The £15bn a year raised will be given to organisations such as Eve Appeal, SafeLives and Women’s Aid, and The Haven but the decision was met with derision both in the Commons and further afield.
. @jessphillips shouts: "You're not paying it George, I am!"— Emily Ashton (@elashton) November 25, 2015
Oh my god! Tampon tax to pay for women's refuges? Women pay for their own support via their periods? Lost for words— Real Britain (@realbritainros) November 25, 2015
But a clearly-riled author, Lucy Inglis, made a strong point, simultaneously defending the decision while also pointing out there is "no money for anyone" under the current government.
Time to make myself tremendously unpopular, yet again. Here goes. There's no money for people, who haven't got any, under this government.— lucyinglis (@lucyinglis) November 25, 2015ADVERTISEMENT
This is hardly news. Yet, #tampontax was a widely debated and quite rightly ridiculed subject (and tax) on social media. Osborne, a man who>— lucyinglis (@lucyinglis) November 25, 2015
probably cares more about the steam from his piss than he cares about how women deal with their menstrual cycles, has given ground.— lucyinglis (@lucyinglis) November 25, 2015
He hasn't given ground because of financial pressure, but because OUR voices have been heard. And yet now all I see in my timeline is>— lucyinglis (@lucyinglis) November 25, 2015
petulant adult babies screaming, 'WHY ISN'T THERE MONEY FOR WOMEN'S CHARITIES ANYWAY'. Because perhaps, THERE IS NO MONEY.— lucyinglis (@lucyinglis) November 25, 2015
Why not try, for a solitary second, to take on board that you have just been HEARD. BY A TORY GOVERNMENT. The one you hate. For WOMEN.— lucyinglis (@lucyinglis) November 25, 2015
It makes me sick to think of defending George Osborne, but this is what a tedious tantrum soup this place has become.— lucyinglis (@lucyinglis) November 25, 2015
The so-called tampon tax has proved hugely controversial as sanitary products are classed as a luxury, non-essential items and attract a 5% tax under EU regulations.
SEE ALSO: Tampon Tax Protest Outside Parliament Sees Three Women Wearing White Trousers On Their Period
Research suggests that some women fork out up to £18,450 across their lifetime to purchase products used for periods.
Osborne, who today delivered the Autumn Statement, claimed he could not scrap the levy outright as it is an EU law and would require all member states to agree. The chancellor did say he would lobby for a change in approach.
Stella Creasy won many plaudits for an eloquent, funny but deadly-serious speech on the issue last month.
"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 recognise 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.
Russell Howard also tackled the issue in his BBC Three show.
He continued: “Do you know the absurd thing, you pay VAT on tampons because they’re a ‘luxury’ but you don’t pay VAT on things that are considered ‘essential’.
“Well here is a list of some of the things that the taxman thinks is essential more than tampons: helicopters, bingo, Twiglets, adult nappies, flapjacks, toffee apples, edible cake decorations, a ticket to the zoo and crocodile meat.”