National 15.9.2016 06:14 pm

MPs threaten to toyi-toyi over tampon tax

Image courtesy of Stock.xchnge

Image courtesy of Stock.xchnge

MPs were prepared to toyi-toyi to ensure that tax on sanitary towels and tampons was eliminated, Parliament’s multi-party Women’s Caucus said on Thursday.

“MPs indicated that they are so serious about the matter, they are prepared to protest (toyi-toyi) if necessary,” a statement from the parliamentary committee said.

The committee rejected proposals from National Treasury officials in a meeting on Wednesday that the rich may benefit more than the poor if sanitary products were exempted from VAT (value-added tax). The officials suggested that government departments should rather budget for sanitary pads and give them to the poor for free.

READ MORE: Sanitary pads for destitute women and girls

But MPs insisted South Africa should follow the example of many other countries which have zero-rated VAT on sanitary towels and tampons.

“Several MPs made it clear that menstruation and the need for sanitary products is not a luxury, but rather a necessity,” the statement said.

“They said women, irrespective of financial standing, should not be punished through taxation when purchasing sanitary products.”

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