Remember in 2015 when George Osborne failed to honour his promise to scrap the 5% charge on sanitary items? Well, the Government stated in November, of the same year, that the entire amount raised by the tax would go directly to funding “women’s health and support charities” in the UK.
Women’s refugees and domestic abuse charities were among some of those promised the money from the tax funds. However, the government have gone a slightly different way.
The £12 million raised by the tax is set to be distributed to 70 charities worldwide. In a statement released on the 31st of March, the government failed to include information of the largest recipient of the funds.
Life, a UK based pro-life educational charity, are going to receive a £250,000 share, £50,000 more than the next largest benefactor Susie Lamplugh Trust. Other charities securing funding from the tax are the Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre in Cornwall, £179,157, and Children North East, who will be getting £88,939.
Life have been heavily criticised in the past over information given out by their unregulated pregnancy counselling centres. In addition, they have also been questioned about how factual their abortion leaflets are.
The government have defended the generous donation by stating it’s earmarked to help “young pregnant women who are homeless” in London. Life helps these women with housing, counselling, emotional support and life skills training.
Many MPs have stated a strong opposition to the donation, including Women’s Equality Leader, Sophie Walker, who stated “while we appreciate the work Life does to support homeless pregnant women and care for children with life-limiting or terminal illnesses, we are very disappointed to see the allocation of such significant funds to this one charity while many others struggle, particularly those supporting black and minority ethnic women and disabled women who experience some of the highest rates of violence against them and yet are consistently at the bottom of the list for funding.”
Campaigners are persisting to try and end the ‘tampon tax’, which has led many young girls experiencing ‘period poverty’. Until then, they will continue to support charities who aid young women suffering illness and unexpected pregnancies.
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