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
Penny Mordaunt MP, Minister for Women & Equalities
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.
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