Paymaster general Dawn Primarolo has said the Treasury could cut the VAT rate
on contraceptive products from 17.5% to 5%.
In a letter to High Street retailer Superdrug, Primarolo said ‘VAT agreements
do allow us the option of reducing the rate of VAT on products used for
contraception to 5%. I am aware of the importance that has been attached to the
issue by Superdrug and its customers who have signed the petition.’
More than 15,000 Superdrug customers signed an in-store petition calling for
the change, and as part of its campaign, the retailer last week delivered 9,000
condoms to the Treasury – the amount it sells daily.
Superdrug wants condoms reclassified as ‘essential items’, which are exempt
from VAT, rather than luxury goods.
Calls to completely scrap the tax were rejected by ministers, due to
agreements with other European Union countries.
However, a spokesman for The Treasury said a change in VAT would be
considered as part of the normal budgetary process.
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