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Why Is the British Government Taxing Periods?

We talk to Englishwomen about the "tampon tax," which classifies all women's sanitary products as "non-essential luxury items."

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.

Somewhere between Labour's ill-fated "Barbie bus" and Nicola Sturgeon's Twitter smackdowns, the female vote has, yet again, become a hot topic at election time, with parties scrabbling to engage the 9 million women who failed to vote in 2010.

Now, amid heated debate that the coalition's welfare reforms have hit women harder than anyone else, there's one government tax that has taken centre stage as a symbol for a gendered austerity.

We speak to the female public about the "tampon tax"—a 5 percent VAT on all women's sanitary products, which classes them as "non-essential luxury items"—and ask just how luxurious their time of the month is.