Research in Brief 86

Framed through a simple and evocative lens of fairness and equality, the campaign to end the ‘tampon tax’ has caught the attention of the public, press and policymakers alike, catapulting the oft-taboo issue of menstrual health to the top of the political agenda. However, despite these meritorious aims, there is little evidence that removing or reducing VAT is the most effective policy instrument to achieve them. Just like VAT cuts on other products, tax policy specialists are increasingly concluding that any savings are very rarely passed onto consumers. Nonetheless, the momentum behind the abolition of the ‘tampon tax’ continues to build, with limited analysis of why a seemingly ineffective policy decision continues to spread so far and wide.


Maisie-Rose Byrne

Maisie-Rose Byrne is the Policy and Campaigns Manager for WaterAid West Africa, leading regional sanitation and hygiene policy initiatives and supporting national advocacy campaigns across seven country programmes. She holds an MA in Governance, Development and Public Policy from the Institute of Development Studies