Dismayed by the failure to abolish the five percent luxury tax on tampons and sanitary towels in Parliament last week women from Dartford’s Labour Party have launched a drive to encourage other women to donate women’s products to other women in need.

Last week, MPs voted in the House of Commons to remove the tax on sanitary products, further to a petition with more than 250,000 signatures led by Labour MP, Paula Sheriff and backed by Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP, which brought the debate to Parliament to remove the tax on sanitary products as ‘luxury items’.

However, the amendment failed, with sanitary products remaining as ‘luxury’ items and a five percent tax, while items such a Jaffa Cakes, pitta bread and herbal tea are not subject to a tax at all.

Vice Chair of Campaigns, Kelly Grehan said ‘We believe strongly that the Labour Party should be a social movement for good. We are aware of the difficulties people have providing food and heating for their families, but because of the taboo which still surrounds periods little focus has been placed on the difficulties some women have meeting the financial costs that accompany menstruation. We thought it would be good to highlight this issue and provide some help where we can.’

Shadow Deputy Leader of Dartford Borough Council and Littlebrook Councillor Daisy Page said ‘I was so angered to hear of the defeat of this amend in the Commons last week. I cannot believe that anyone can classify sanitary products a ‘luxury’ good. They are a necessity for menstruating women. These are not cheap items’.

‘I hope that this drive and campaign will help families who are struggling with the costs of everyday items, who are living with the financial reality of this government who continue to make life difficult for working families, for example with the Tax Credit cut that will cut the income of 4,000 families in Dartford’.

‘Li-Lets have kindly agreed to donate to our cause some money off vouchers, which we shall distribute along with all other donations to local food banks and women’s refuges. We shall also be in touch with other sanitary product providers to see what they can offer our campaign’

To make a donation, please come to Dartford Labour Party Office, 99 Kent Road, Dartford on Saturday 14th November from 10am – 12pm. For more information or if you have any further questions, please contact Cllr Daisy Page on telephone number 07943 499100 or email daisy.page@dartford.gov.uk

All donations will be given to the food bank and women’s refuge.