Pay Back the Tampon Tax to Women’s Charities

In 2015, the money collected from VAT on period products known as the Tampon Tax was pledged for women’s health and support charities.

Most of the money has instead been awarded to other charities that are not focused on women’s health and support and local women’s charities are missing out on money which was pledged for them.

Sign our petition for the Government to honour their promise and pay back the tampon tax to women’s charities.

Sign the petition here.

See our open letter below to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, in which more than 100 women, including academics and representatives of women’s charities, have urged the government to ringfence cash raised from the unpopular levy to be donated to organisations dedicated to women. Read about the letter in the Guardian here.

See the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s response here


8th April 2019

Mims Davies MP, Minister for Sport & Civil Society

House of Commons

London

SW1A 0AA

 

Copy to:

Penny Mordaunt MP, Minister for Women & Equalities

 

Dear Minister,

 

As charities involved in delivering specialist services for women and girls and individuals supporting and advocating on behalf of women and girls experiencing varied and multiple disadvantage including violence against women and girls, poor health, disability, and from across the range of protected characteristics within the Equality Act 2010 we have serious concerns about the process and outcomes of the “Tampon Tax Fund” in 2017, 2018 and 2019

 

Specialist women’s charities face a severe funding crisis which impacts directly on the availability of services for the most disadvantaged women facing complex challenges. These charities are often grassroots, locally embedded and relatively small in size compared to larger generic charities that do not have a core focus or specialism in services for women. Due to the fund criteria, there are a very small number of women’s charities in a position to bid alone.

 

Tampon Tax Fund application criteria in 2018 and 2019 required a minimum bid of £1million over 2 years, and stated the need for cross-regional partnership bids. This has ruled out a large number of women’s charities and has ensured that the ability to lead and submit bids goes to larger national generic charities. Numerous women’s charities have reported that they have not been able to submit bids either this year or in 2018 due to the restrictions of the bidding criteria.

 

We are concerned that even when women’s charities have led bids, or applied in consortia type arrangements; it is larger generic organisations that have been granted the funding; with the exception this year of Southall Black Sisters. We are very concerned that the success of some of these bids will cause further damage to the fragile women’s charity sector by drawing investment to generic providers. Alongside this we are also witnessing similar processes within other public bodies which are further exacerbating the fragility of our women’s charity sector.

 

The process and allocation of the fund does not demonstrate, either, an understanding of the need or the value of women’s charities in working with women and girls, nor does it provide an opportunity to adopt a strategic approach to sustaining life-saving services for women and girls. In fact it achieves the opposite.

 

We are acutely aware that the establishment of this fund was explicitly designed for women’s charities- In November 2015 George Osborne said it was for “women’s health and support charities”

 

It is therefore gravely disappointing to us that a fund established specifically for women’s charities is failing quite significantly to deliver on that promise.

 

We urge you to address this as a matter of urgency by ringfencing this fund for women’s charities. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how we can support a refreshed process which provides investment for the fourth emergency services in our country, which women’s charities are.

 

We are publishing this letter and we will publish ministerial responses.

 

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Vivienne Hayes MBE, CEO, Women’s Resource Centre

 

Adrienne Darragh, Chief Executive, Hibiscus Initiatives

Ali Harris, Chief Executive, Equally Ours

Alison Gordon, Executive Director, Sisters For Change

Amrit Wilson, Feminist writer and former Chair of Imkaan

Angela Everson, Chief Executive, Women Centre Ltd

Angela Oxberry, CEO, WHIST

Anna Herrmann, Joint Artistic Director, Clean Break

Anne Bonner, Chief Executive, Riverside

Annette Lawson, Chairc The Judith Trust

Baljit Banga, Director, LBWP

Beatrix Campbell OBE, Author and Activist

Becky Rogerson, Interim Director, WWIN

Caroline Hattersley, Director, women@thewell

Caroline Murphy, Director of Operations, Nia

Clare Hyde, Director, The Foundation for Families

Cleo Matthews , West Sussex County Council-Registration Services

Cris McCurley, Family Partner, Ben Hoare Bell Solicitors

Darlene Corry, Consultant

Davina James-Hanman, Independent VAWG Consultant

Dawn Redshaw, CEO Salford Independent Domestic Abuse Support Services

Deborah Coles, Director, INQUEST

Deniz Ugur, Director, IMECE Women’s Centre

Diana Nammi, Executive Director, Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation

Dion Spence, Membership & Sustainability Manager, Imkaan

Dionne Nelson, Deputy CEO, WRC

Donna Carty, Vice-Chair, Women and Girl’s Network

Donna Covey CBE, Chief Executive, AVA (Against Violence and Abuse)

Dorett Jones, Head of Training, Development and Member Sustainability, Imkaan

Dr Davina Lloyd, Backto60

Dr Fiona Vera-Gray, Assistant Prof Sociology, Durham University

Dr Louise Harvey-Golding, Consultant

Dr Maki Kimura, International Liaison Officer, WILPF UK

Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, Director, UK Women’s Budget Group

Elaine Slater, Chief Executive Officer, Tyneside Women’s Health

Eleri Butler, CEO, Welsh Women’s Aid

Emily Simon, Founder, The Women’s Foundation

Emma Jones, Managing Director, Include

Emma Ritch, Executive Director, Engender

Estelle du Boulay, Director, Rights of Women

Evelyn Fraser, Development Manager, Scottish Women’s Convention

Fiaza Manzoor, Manager, Trafford Rape Crisis

Gemma Fox, Rheolwr Gyfarwyddwr / Managing Director, North Wales Women’s Centre Ltd

Gill Herd, Senior Manager – Partnerships, Solace

Gurpreet Virdee, Co-Director, Women and Girls Network

Heather McKenzie, NEU Executive

Heidi Riedel, CEO Woman’s Trust

Helen Cylwik, Freelance consultant to the voluntary sector

Helen Voce, Chief Executive Officer, Nottingham Women’s Centre

Helene Harrigan WRC trustee

Hilary McCollum, Author, Activist

Ila Patel, Director, Asha Projects

Jackie Jones, Wales Assembly of Women

Janet Veitch OBE Consultant

Jemima Olchawski, CEO, Agenda

Jo Todd, CEO, Respect

Jocelyn Watson, Author and campaigner

Judith Green, Woman’s Place UK

Julie Budge, My Sisters Place

June Pilgrim-Ndure, Project Manager, Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network

Karen Ingala Smith, CEO, nia

Kate Aldous, Head of Strategic Development, CLINKS

Kate Paradine, Chief Executive, Women in Prison

Kathleen Moss, Accountant and Community Volunteer

Kevin Courtney, Joint GS, NEU

Kim Donahue, Consultant, WRC Trustee

Kim Knappett, Joint President, NEU

Kiri Tunks, Joint President, NEU

Kunle Olulode, Director, Voice4Change England

Lee Egglestone, Rape Crisis England and Wales

Lucila Granada, Director, Latin American Women’s Rights Service.

Lynda Dearlove rsm, CEO Women@the Well

Marai Larasi, Executive Director of Imkaan

Marcelina Stengert (Counsellor) Mama Health and Poverty Partnership Greater Manchester.

Maggie Baxter, Chair, Womankind Worldwide

Mary Bousted, Joint GS, NEU

Naomi Delap, Director, Birth Companions

Naana Otoo-Oyortey, Executive Director, FORWARD

Naomi Dickson, Chief Executive, Jewish Women’s Aid

Nazmin Akthar, Chair of Muslim Women’s Network UK

Nicki Norman, Director of Services, Women’s Aid

Niki Scordi, Chief Executive, Advance

Omar Khan Director Runnymede Trust

Philipa Harvey, NEU Executive

Pragna Patel, Director, Southall Black Sisters

Professor Aisha K. Gill, Ph.D. CBE, Professor of Criminology, University of Roehampton

Professor Catherine Donovan, Professor of Sociology, Durham University

Professor Jill Marshall LLB (Hons) MA PhD, Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales

Rahni Kaur Binjie, Campaigner, Activist

Ranjit Kaur, Feminist Campaigner

Ros Bragg, Director, Maternity Action

Rupa Sarkar, Chair of WRC

Sally Field, Chair Woman’s Trust

Sam Smethers, CEO, Fawcett Society

Samantha Rennie, Executive Director, Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls

Sarah Green, Co-Director, End Violence Against Women Coalition

Sarbjit Ganger, Director, Asian Women’s Resource Centre

Sawsan Salim, KMEWO, Director

Shade Alonge-Obasuyi (Counsellor/Psychotherapist) Mama Health and Poverty Partnership

Shahida Choudhry, Women’s Rights Activist

Sheila Coates, SERICC

Sumanta Roy, Head of Research, Evaluation and Development, Imkaan

Susie McDonald, CEO, Tender

Verna Chung, Head of Operations, Rosa Fund

Vicky Knight, President UCU

Vicky Marsh, On behalf of the Safety4Sisters Management group

Wendy Davis, Director, Rooms of our Own

Yasmin Rehman, Campaigner

Yenny Tovar- Aude, Director, Latin American Women’s Aid

Yvonne Traynor, CEO, RASASC

Zaiba Qureshi | Chief Executive | Housing for Women

Zarin Hainsworth, NAWO, Chair