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Sanitary items as luxuries watch

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    (Original post by ILovePancakes)
    I usually agree with and respect a lot of what you say, but your understanding of a luxury seems redundant.

    By your logic, everything is a luxury and anything that can be bought should be taxed.

    A line must be drawn between what is luxurious and what is an unrealised necessity in the eyes of an African child. A Versace handbag and a glass of water are two very different things; one we can live without and one we will die without. Just because an African child equally has no access to both, does not make them the same kind of luxury. One should be taxed and the other shouldn't. I do not need a handbag to lead a comfortable, hygienic life, but I do water; and I do tampons.
    You don't need tampons. You need something to soak up the mess, and clean it up. I.e some cloth.
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    It is completely ridiculous and I had to laugh at Stella Creasy's baiting of the uncomfortable, although allied, Sir Bill Cash over his reluctance to say the word "tampon".

    Nevertheless, there is some special snowflake rhetoric around this. First, the designation "luxury" is confected. There are three VAT rates: standard (20%), reduced (5%) and zero (0%). It's true that the zero rate is used for what are considered to be "essential" items, but nobody has positively defined tampons as "non-essential", let alone "luxury".

    Here is Wikipedia's summary of common items attracting the standard and reduced rates.
    Standard rated
    Alcoholic drinks
    Biscuits (chocolate covered only)
    Bottled water (inc. mineral water)
    Calendars & diaries
    Carbonated (fizzy) drinks
    CDs, DVDs & tapes
    Cereal bars
    Chocolate
    Clothes & footwear (not for children under 14)
    Confectionery/sweets
    Delivery charges (postage & packaging)
    Electrical goods
    Electricity, gas, heating oil & solid fuel (business)
    Food & drinks supplied for consumption on the premises (at restaurants, cafes etc)
    Hot take-away food & drinks (inc. burgers, hot dogs, toasted sandwiches)
    Ice cream
    Fruit juice & other cold drinks (not milk)
    Nuts (shelled, roasted/salted)
    Postal services (Royal Mail/other licensed operators)
    Potato crisps
    Prams & pushchairs
    Road fuel (petrol/diesel)
    Salt (non-culinary)
    Stationery
    Taxi fares
    Tolls for bridges, tunnels & roads (privately operated)
    Water (industrial)

    Reduced rated
    Children's car seats
    Electricity, gas, heating oil & solid fuel (domestic/residential/charity non-business)
    Energy saving materials (permanently installed in residential/charity premises)
    Maternity pads
    Mobility aids for the elderly
    Sanitary protection products
    Smoking cessation productsI have bolded the ones I would consider essential products ripe for some sort of downward revision. There is a lot more scope for debate over VAT than just tampons and we need to be looking at a fair system but one which also raises sufficient revenue - the two things are difficult to reconcile as people will of course buy more essentials but less luxuries.
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    (Original post by TheonlyMrsHolmes)
    Thank you for understanding my initial point. I don't care if they don't agree or respect my opinion(It's not even an opinion really...).This was the point I was trying to make.
    It's understandable. No one here would really understand fully what living in absolute poverty entails.
    Luxury is defined as a state of great comfort especially when involving great expense.
    A woman living in rural sub saharan africa would indeed be in geat comfort if she had access to a tampon that could catch all her blood flow as opposed to using a cloth or bleeding freely. And she certainly can't afford one. Even if she could something like food would be far more important on her list of priorities.

    Unfortunately what is a luxury is relative from place to place.
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    I swear nobody has any idea anymore why they are taxed, and it has nothing to do with being a "luxury"
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    (Original post by StrawbAri)
    It's understandable. No one here would really understand fully what living in absolute poverty entails.
    Luxury is defined as a state of great comfort especially when involving great expense.
    A woman living in rural sub saharan africa would indeed be in geat comfort if she had access to a tampon that could catch all her blood flow as opposed to using a cloth or bleeding freely. And she certainly can't afford one. Even if she could something like food would be far more important on her list of priorities.
    This is EXACTLY, EXACTLY what I was trying to say! EXACTLY what I was trying to make a point of. You have done a much better expressing it actually.
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    (Original post by ComputerMaths97)
    The stupidity behind your arguments.

    All food is a necessity, and I could argue that I need various types of food, and therefore all food should be tax free.

    There will always be items that should technically be tax free, as there will always be an item that is more important to humans that all the other taxed items. You have to stop eventually, and stopping at a point that removes luxury items, such as tampons, is one of many fair points to stop. Humans have survived for millenniums before the invention of these super tampons. Humans (well, women) just used any old cloth until very lately this mass production of these overly comfy etc etc things to help.

    They should just make cheap cloth tax free, and that can be used. But I bet there would be an outrage about that. Oh no you need your super comfy version. Yet, that's blatantly luxury. Anything that gets the job done is all you need, anything beyond that is luxury.

    Also I think the thing people forget is how items are chosen to be tax-free or not. It's only partly to do with how necessary they are. Things such as waste created when making them, income of firms for selling them, etc etc all are considered.

    I'm sure you can live without these state of the art tampons, if the government offered free cheap cloth for everyone with a vagina I guarantee you'd all moan.
    cheap cloth? So that we can soak through them in no time? What about for women who work demanding jobs/full time? How would they find the time to change so frequently? Or should they stay off from work during menstruation?

    It's not the super comfy version at all. Even 'state of the art' pads are not comfy. Tampons are not comfy. I don't know where you get the idea of comfy from. Like I said, most if not all women would prefer to not have a period and still be fertile.

    I do agree with most of what you've said though. There are other items that are technically a necessity that are taxed, but that does not mean that it's suddenly okay to be taxed. I do think that most of the outrage comes from people considering sanitary products as a luxury.

    Periods are a complete pain and I mean that figuratively and literally, so it's borderline offensive to deem it as a 'luxury'
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    (Original post by Nolofinwë)
    I hope I explained this angle at page 1, post 19. I wouldn't attribute it to a lack of national sovereignty. Despite being a member of the EU, I think (at the risk of starting a tangent) that Parliament's sovereignty remains intact. Indeed, its precisely because of continued national sovereignty, in part, that the EU is unable to address the tax and the other issues you've referred to; national sovereignty imposes competence limits on the EU and prohibits it from taking unilateral leadership on any issue, as, instead, reference must be made to all (or at least a qualified majority of) its members.
    How can national sovereignty remain intact when European Law supersedes national law?

    Where was Greek national sovereignty when it voted against the terms of the bailout in a referendum , and then had to accept its imposition from the EU?

    How can there be democracy in the EU without a European demos?
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    (Original post by cherryred90s)
    We don't actually lose that much blood. I believe its around 4-8 teaspoons but there's also a lot of other icky stuff to make it look like more


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    Hmm:holmes:.Blood flow, time,volume.I feel like a differential equation is being set up.
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    (Original post by TheonlyMrsHolmes)
    This is EXACTLY, EXACTLY what I was trying to say! EXACTLY what I was trying to make a point of. You have done a much better expressing it actually.

    Honestly when a controversial opinion is aired no one really wants to take the time and consider what is being said. I thought you made your point pretty clear actually.
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    (Original post by StrawbAri)

    Unfortunately what is a luxury is relative from place to place.
    True, but that is what I was trying to say. A sanitary item can certainly be defined as a luxury, perhaps not here in the west but it can/is a luxury in poverty stricken areas in 3rd world countries. Water is essential, it is a necessity, of course it is, but it's not AVAILABLE to all, making it a luxury to someone who does not have access to it.

    I don't know why this was so difficult to understand?
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    (Original post by StrawbAri)

    Honestly when a controversial opinion is aired no one really wants to take the time and consider what is being said. I thought you made your point pretty clear actually.
    I found it quite pathetic actually I was being attacked for what essentially is a clear and important point to note. No one seems to look beyond their perfect western worlds sometimes.
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    (Original post by ComputerMaths97)
    You don't need tampons. You need something to soak up the mess, and clean it up. I.e some cloth.
    That won't work for working women.
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    (Original post by TheonlyMrsHolmes)
    True, but that is what I was trying to say. A sanitary item can certainly be defined as a luxury, perhaps not here in the west but it can/is a luxury in poverty stricken areas in 3rd world countries. Water is essential, it is a necessity, of course it is, but it's not AVAILABLE to all, making it a luxury to someone who does not have access to it.

    I don't know why this was so difficult to understand?
    I remember there was a time I visited my home village. I asked for some water and I was pointed to a well. The water in it looked a bit murky :s so I asked whether there was bottled water any where and my great aunt laughed at me and called me something in my native language that roughly translates to 'rich man's child'
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    (Original post by chocolate hottie)
    How can national sovereignty remain intact when European Law supersedes national law?

    Where was Greek national sovereignty when it voted against the terms of the bailout in a referendum , and then had to accept its imposition from the EU?

    How can there be democracy in the EU without a European demos?
    As I say, I don't want to start a tangent, so I'll just say this. EU law only has effect in member states because the national constitutions of member states permit it to do so. In Britain, we are told that EU law only applies because Parliament accepted that it applies under section 2 of the European Communities Act 1972. To use an analogy, in 1972, Parliament opened a drawbridge which lets EU law in to mix with national law. Therefore, EU law only applies because Parliament says that it applies. It applies, therefore, through a mechanism which is premised on, rather than an abrogation of, Parliamentary Sovereignty. In principle, Parliament could repeal s2 of the ECA at any time. They could raise the drawbridge. Thereby, EU law would no longer apply. Thus, Parliament remains sovereign to withdraw from EU law at any time.

    The only effect which EU law has is to alter national laws so long as EU law continues to have primacy (which, as I've just explained, is always conditional on Parliament choosing to opt out). If it alters an old law, that is not substantively different to Parliament altering an old law: the only difference is procedural, in that the measure, though still implicitly validated by Parliament through s2, comes from a different legislative source. The major difference is that EU law applies over subsequently-created national laws. Therefore, the doctrine of implied repeal no longer operates. That, however, is the extent of the effect of EU law: although it has abrogated the doctrine of implied repeal, Parliament can still do as it wishes, including expressly legislating against an EU law (we have no reason to think that this is prohibited), or leaving the EU entirely. The option rests entirely with Parliament, which is the hallmark of a still-sovereign body.

    I'm not sure how the democracy argument is at all related, and it is anyway premised on the assumption that there is no European demos.
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    Its not a luxury but isn't food also taxed? Am i missing something here?
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    (Original post by StrawbAri)
    I remember there was a time I visited my home village. I asked for some water and I was pointed to a well. The water in it looked a bit murky :s so I asked whether there was bottled water any where and my great aunt laughed at me and called me something in my native language that roughly translates to 'rich man's child'
    Where is your home village? I know, I remember when I visited my dad's birth place, and there was a near by area I had never seen before and they had one tap of water for everyone to share. The water was all murky as well. I'm sure it would be a luxury for them to have bottles upon bottles of clean water to drink and bathe in, but it's just not the reality. They would see it as a LUXURY, that was my point!
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    (Original post by StrawbAri)
    I'm going to step in here for TheonlyMrsHolmes

    Certain things like sanitary items, clean water and 24"7 electricity supply are definitely luxuries in third world countries. In the sense that people here can survive without clean water or electricity or sanitary items. Where I live people have developed an immunity to things like typhoid and cholera. If in a rare situation there is very clean water it is considered luxurious. In rural areas people are happy to drink the water from streams. They have to or else they'll become dehydrated. Infact sometimes people will save the clean water they have for special occasions like important guests coming over.
    When there is electricity it is considered luxurious because no one is used to having stable electricity.
    I'm lucky enough to be relatively middle class and I still am practically immune to malaria.

    Things like clean water and sanitary pads might be basic necesities in the west but we can certainly live without them here.
    Don't think of it as luxury as in versace clothes but as thingssome people are lucky to have.
    Maybe luxury isn't the best word anyway
    Lool, all she had to say was this, instead it was like observing an autistic child try and come to terms with Economics 101 :erm:
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    (Original post by somemightsay888)
    Lool, all she had to say was this, instead it was like observing an autistic child try and come to terms with Economics 101 :erm:


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    What if she was autistic?:hmmm:
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    It's such a nonsense argument to say it's EU law so we have to follow or it's too complex and difficult to change.

    Surely this is one of the few times in politics when common sense should surely prevail.

    I think an argument for another day would be if they were zero rated on tax would they actually be any cheaper? Maybe I'm just a cynic.
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    (Original post by Kadak)
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    What if she was autistic?:hmmm:
    Then I'll retract my comment, apologise and congratulate her for trying :hmmm:
 
 
 
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