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Local MPs vote on the ‘tampon tax’



Ludicrous to me that these are considered ‘luxury’ items which need to be taxed’: Jonathan Edwards MP

Ludicrous to me that these are considered ‘luxury’ items which
need to be taxed’: Jonathan Edwards MP

WHEN VOTING to amend the finance bill on Monday October 26, the majority of MPs (305 to 287) voted against forcing the Chancellor of the Exchequer to negotiate the end of the ‘Tampon Tax’ – the 5% VAT added to sanitary products.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) categorise sanitary products as “non-essential, luxury items” and therefore VAT is added on top of the costs determined by retailers.

Although 5% is the lowest level of VAT that can added to a product, to describe tampons as a “luxury” is absurd, and many are campaigning to remove the ‘Tampon Tax’. A change. org petition has received nearly 260,000 signatures asking George Osbourne and the Council of the EU to reduce the tax on sanitary products to 0% and recognise them as “essential” rather than “luxury” items.

During the election, David Cameron said that the EU sets the rules on such things and commented that it would be difficult to remove VAT from tampons and like products. However, he has said he would look into it and get back to the public.

On Monday, Labour MP Paula Sherriff raised the motion to hasten the end of the ‘Tampon Tax’ by forcing George Osbourne to set out how he would negotiate the end of VAT on sanitary products within three months and update the commons on his progress.

In 2000, the Labour party were able to reduce the VAT added to sanitary products from 17.5% to only 5%, but could not go further under EU rules.

On Monday, it was Labour once again who moved the following clause:

“1) Within three months of the passing of this Act, the Chancellor of the Exchequer shall lay before both Houses of Parliament a statement on his strategy to negotiate with the EU institution an exemption from VAT for women’s sanitary protection products.

“2) A Minister of the Crown must lay before Parliament a report on progress before Parliament a report on progress at achieving an exemption from VAT for women’s sanitary protection products within EU law by April 1 2016.”

To change the VAT added to sanitary products, Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said that the Government would need the agreement of every EU member state. Although he said he “sympathises with the aim of the clause”, he commented that the “UK did not have the ability to extend unilaterally zero rating to new products.”

305 MPs voted against forcing George Osbourne to discuss the ‘Tampon Tax’ with the EU, including Secretary of State for Wales and Preseli-Pembrokeshire MP, Stephen Crabb and Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP, Simon Hart.

We asked Mr Crabb why it was that he did not want to hurry the motion to end the VAT on women’s sanitary products foward, to which he replied: “There is cross-party consensus that the UK should be able to abolish VAT on sanitary products.

“Ministers are about to commence discussions with the European Commission and other EU Member States.

“Given that the Minister has already promised to report back to the House of Commons on these negotiations, the amendment was unnecessary and so I voted against.

“We are moving in the right direction on this.”

We also asked Mr Hart to comment, but we did not receive a reply before going to print.

Both Nia Griifith, Labour MP for Llanelli, and Jonathan Edwards, Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, voted for the clause to hasten the end of the ‘Tampon Tax’ on Monday.

We asked Ms Griffith her opinion on amending the finance bill, and she said: “I would like to see the VAT taken off female sanitary products altogether because they are essential items, not luxury goods.

“When Labour was in power, we reduced the VAT on sanitary products from the standard rate, which at the time was 17.5% down to the minimum amount allowed by the EU which is 5%.

“This week I voted to ask the Chancellor to negotiate with the EU to get an exemption from VAT for sanitary products. There are similar campaigns for this VAT exemption in other EU countries, and the Chancellor should be working with them to get sanitary products exempted from VAT.

“I am very disappointed that the Chancellor does not even want to try and negotiate this exemption.”

Mr Edwards was also disappointed by MPs reluctance to want to negotiate on the matter.

He said: “I’m very proud to say that I and my Plaid Cymru colleagues voted to exempt women’s sanitary products from VAT.

“It seems absolutely ludicrous to me that these are considered ‘luxury’ items which need to be taxed.

“Using sanitary products is not a matter of choice, and a woman’s health and wellbeing should not be a financial discussion. It is a matter of necessity. There is no argument in the world that could be made to me to justify taxing these items.”

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Police launch public appeal following Carmarthenshire burglary



DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating a burglary at a property in Ponthenry.

People broke into a shed at a home in Victoria Road at around 8.30pm on Monday, 31 October, before leaving after spotting a CCTV camera.

They returned at around 10.15pm and again at around 10.55pm.

During their raids they tooka green Wolf motocross helmet with a full face with a peak and line green motocross goggles.

Officers are appealing for help to identify two people they would like to speak to over the incident.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at:, by emailing, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DPP/0756/01/11/2022/02/C. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting

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Morrisons Foundation supports children’s charity with grant for vital equipment



The Morrisons Foundation supports registered charities that make a positive difference. They recently awarded national children’s disability charity, Cerebra, based in Carmarthen, a grant of £11,109.

This will fund the creation of writing slopes through the Cerebra Innovation Centre, which is partnered with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and designs wonderful toys and equipment to help children living with a brain condition to learn and play.

The writing slopes are designed to help children who struggle with posture and fine motor skills. They also aid children with writing, drawing and hand control. Ross Head, Product Design Manager at the Cerebra Innovation Centre explains;

‘The slopes include a lovely wipe-clean surface for children to experiment with mark making, their own set of pens and a clever lid-free pen store to remove the challenge of removing lids for some children. We are so lucky to be able to do what we do and funding like this is so important to allow us to push boundaries and provide vital equipment that looks beautiful.’

At the start of 2022, the Cerebra Innovation Centre highlighted that they anticipated the need for an additional 20 writing slopes for children. Cerebra Fundraising Manager, James Hay then worked with the grants team at the Morrisons Foundation, who were delighted to support this project. David Scott, Morrisons Foundation Trustee said:

‘Cerebra is dedicated to helping families who have a child with a brain condition to discover a better life together, that’s why I’m delighted that we’ve been able to provide this support. The specialised writing slopes will make a huge positive impact on children with sensory and mobility issues, providing a great opportunity to develop their skills, which will last a lifetime.’

Grants like this are a vital source of funding for Cerebra so that they are able to continue to support children living with a brain condition and their families who face challenges every day. The Cerebra Innovation Centre is one of the many support services provided by the charity that so many families have come to rely on. James Hay adds;

‘Thank you so much to the Morrisons Foundation for this generous grant! We are over the moon as we know how much this project will change young lives. These are particularly challenging times for charities and so this funding from Morrisons for the creation of 20 writing slopes is warmly welcomed.’

You can find out more about Cerebra and how they help children and families by visiting 

Writing Slope
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White Ribbon campaign supported by Carmarthenshire County Council



CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL says it is again showing its support for the White Ribbon campaign, which takes place on Friday, November 25 and is followed by 16 Days of Action.

White Ribbon is the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls.

While domestic abuse affects both sexes, the largest number of violent incidents involve men against women. But ultimately male violence against women is everyone’s issue, not just women’s.

The council was awarded White Ribbon UK accredited status for the first time in 2018 and is continuing to work to tackle such violence.

White Ribbon flags will be flying at County Hall in Carmarthen and town halls in Llanelli and Ammanford on White Ribbon Day (Friday, November 25). County Hall will also be lit up on the evening to show support.

The council is working alongside partners to raise awareness of the campaign across the county – from sports clubs, joint visits with the Police to licensed premises, our leisure centres and libraries to bus stations.

With this year’s White Ribbon Day falling on the same week as the start of the FIFA men’s World Cup, there has never been a better time to come together and start playing as a team to end violence against women and girls.

The council will be raising awareness of the campaign at special events including a Walking Football session at Amman Valley Leisure Centre on November 30 and at “An Evening with Sam Warburton” at the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen on White Ribbon Day (November 25).

Cabinet Member responsible for Community Safety, Cllr Philip Hughes, said: “It’s vital that we raise more awareness about domestic abuse so that anyone affected can get help and support from one of our local services.”

Support locally can be found at: Threshold (Llanelli) on 01554 752 422 or; Calan DVS (Ammanford) on 01269 597 474 or; Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service on 01267 238 410 or and Goleudy on 0300 123 2996 or or call the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 or visit for free advice and support 24/7

For more information on the White Ribbon campaign visit

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