Speaking ahead of a visit to Thurston Community College on Friday 12th October, Alex Mayer MEP said; “No child should have to face a monthly nightmare of not having any sanitary products and so being forced to miss school.”
Alex Mayer MEP has thrown her support behind a motion proposed by the Labour group at Suffolk County Council which would provide free sanitary products to all local authority schools.
“It wouldn’t cost much for Suffolk County Council to provide free menstrual products to all children and would make the world of difference. Let’s make sure no Suffolk girl misses out on an education because of period poverty.”
One in ten teenage girls have been unable to afford sanitary products at some point and one in seven has had to borrow tampons or sanitary towels from a friend.
The motion also calls on the council to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, to ask him to remove VAT from all sanitary products, something that Alex Mayer says can now happen, due to recent changes in EU legislation.
The European Parliament has recently legislated to allow member states to scrap the so-called ‘tampon tax’ and eliminate VAT on sanitary products.
“The abolition of VAT on sanitary products is long overdue, and national politicians, including all the Brexiters in Britain, can no longer hide behind the tiresome, cliched ‘Brussels stops us doing it’ excuse – it is ministers who have held back progress; they must stop dithering and follow the European Parliament’s lead.”
Cllr Helen Armitage, who will be proposing the motion on Thursday 18th October, said; “I’m delighted that Alex is supportive of our campaign and I want to thank her for all of her hard work on this critical issue in the European Parliament.
“I now ask all Suffolk residents who want to help put an end to ‘Period Poverty’ to write to their local county councillor urging them to support our motion next week.”