Tampons aren't the only product to get taxed at 5%

Sanitary products in the supermarket

A petition calling for an end to a 5% tax on sanitary products has gathered more than 125,000 signatures.

But, because of current EU rules, it's unlikely that it will be successful.

Back in 2000 the VAT on tampons and sanitary towels was dropped from 17.5% to 5% after a campaign by Labour MP Dawn Primarolo.

However, standardised EU taxes mean that the rate cannot drop below 5% - and it's not just sanitary products that are affected.

Here's a list of the other items that people may consider important to their lives, which have VAT of 5%.

Why the 'tampon tax' is here to stay - for a while at least

Mobility aids for the elderly

Hands of an elderly person

People over 60 pay 5% on items such as grab rails, stair lifts and walk-in baths, so long as they are bought and installed in a private home.

If all those criteria aren't met, then full VAT of 20% is paid.

Smoking cessation products

Smoking cessation products on a shelf

Nicotine patches, gum or inhalators to help you quit smoking all attract the 5% tax if you buy them over the counter.

VAT isn't charged on those items if they are prescribed by a doctor.

Maternity pads


Some sanitary products are specifically designed for women have just given birth - like tampons, these have a 5% rate.

If the item you buy has a dual-use to help with both incontinence and menstruation, then it is exempt from VAT, subject to certain restrictions.

This is also true for pads which are just for incontinence.

Car seats for children

Baby in a car seat

According to HMRC, the 5% rate applies to children's car seats, booster chairs and booster cushions.

It is also charged on carry cots with restraint straps but prams and pushchairs attract a standard rate.

Solar panels

Man putting solar panels on a roof

Along with other energy-saving materials such as wind turbines and insulation, if you install solar panels in your home then you will pay a reduced VAT of 5%.

This is also the case for boilers and radiators.

Energy supplies

Gas meter

It's not just energy equipment that gets VAT of 5%.

You also pay that rate for any gas or electricity that is supplied to your home.

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