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Government to keep period pants tax under review

By Rachel Douglass


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Marks & Spencer 'Say Pants to the Tax' campaign imagery. Credits: Marks & Spencer.

After two weeks of campaigning and petitioning among retailers and the general public, the UK government has now said it will be keeping its tax on period pants under review.

The response comes amid heightened efforts and increased calls on the government to end tax on the products as part of the ‘Say Pants to Tax’ campaign, launched by Marks & Spencers and Wuka.

Through the initiative, the duo have requested for period pants to be reclassified in line with other period products, which have been exempt from VAT since 2021.

Since its inception, the campaign, as well as its accompanying petition, which has garnered over 28,000 signatures to date, has gained further support from Primark, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Mountain Warehouse.

Now, the government has responded in an official statement, in which it noted that “exclusions are designed to ensure that reliefs are properly targeted and that under existing rules period pants may already qualify for the zero rate”.

This, however, only applies to period pants that meet the sizing criteria, and are specifically for girls under age 14 years old.

Marks & Spencer said that “it would be very easy to draft new regulations which meant only those knickers with a health use – like period pants – stopped being subject to VAT”.

The retailer further added that it would be covering the cost of VAT across its own range of period pants.

Marks & Spencer
Period pants