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UK gets rid of tax on menstrual products

UK gets rid of tax on menstrual products
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The U.K. on Friday got rid of the sales tax on menstrual products after breaking from the European Union and its tax rules regarding sanitary products. 

Treasury chief Rishi Sunak followed through with his March promise to remove the tax on tampons and sanitary pads, which was only possible after the U.K.’s official separation from the EU, The Associated Press reported

The U.K. departed the EU Thursday at 11 p.m. London time.  

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The EU prohibits countries in the bloc from lowering the rate of value-added tax (VAT) on menstrual products below 5 percent, as they are designated as luxury products rather than essentials.

“Sanitary products are essential, so it’s right that we do not charge VAT,” Sunak said, according to the AP. “We have already rolled out free sanitary products in schools, colleges and hospitals and this commitment takes us another step closer to making them available and affordable for all women.”

The U.K. treasury estimates the tax removal will save the average person almost $55 throughout their life. 

While the U.K. escapes some EU regulations with its departure, an upcoming U.K.-EU trade deal will come with some restrictions, but Brexit supporters celebrated the move as a benefit for leaving the bloc. 

Several other countries, including Australia, Canada and India, and states, including New York and Florida, have removed the tax for menstrual products, according to the AP.