Waitrose becomes the second UK retailer to cover the 'tampon tax'
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Waitrose has followed in the footsteps of Tesco by becoming the second UK retailer to take on the payment of the ‘tampon tax’ themselves. The official statement from the supermarket chain said that over the course of the coming week they will cut the price on a range of women’s sanitary products by 5% thereby removing the cost of VAT from the products. Michael Andrews, the Director of Buying for ambient and general merchandise said that “By covering the VAT cost and reducing the price by 5%, we are confident it will make a difference to our customers.” Own-label and branded products will be included in the price cut, giving customers access to 97 sanitary products overall, available both in-store and online. The supermarket’s decision is a positive change that is a big statement that cements the retailer’s attitude towards the highly criticised tax. Waitrose had previously promised to pass on VAT savings to customers when the tax is eventually reduced or scrapped, but in the meantime "thought it would be helpful to our customers to pay the VAT ourselves". The move comes after Tesco announced the other week that they would cover the ‘tampon tax’ as for many of their customers the product was “essential” and “the cost of buying them every month can add up”. The initial move brought praise from Labour MP Paula Sheriff and it seems Waitrose have heeded her call for other supermarkets to follow Tesco’s example. With Waitrose now following in their footsteps, this may set a trend for other high-street retailers to fall suit and cover the 5% tax on tampons themselves, rather than wait until the government
waits to make a new law, which will hopefully see the tax scrapped in 2018.
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