tampon tax
A detail of a tampons box is seen in London, Britain March 18, 2016. Prime Minister David Cameron won backing at a European Union summit on Thursday to end the so-called "tampon tax" that has become a political football for Britons campaigning to leave the EU in a June referendum. Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

Women groups and politicians have been surprised after learning that £250,000 (AU$411,936) of the tampon tax was going to anti-abortion group Life. An End Violence Against Women Coalition spokesperson said that it was hard to understand how a service could offer counselling based on the fundamental premise that abortion was wrong. The spokesperson said that the government clearly said the tax would be used for the specific needs and inequalities experienced by women.

Labour MP Paula Sherriff criticised the government for providing the funds to the charity organisation Life. She said that they appreciated the work that the organisation provided to support homeless pregnant women. She also recognised the effort of the charity for providing care for children with life-limiting or terminal illnesses. However, she said that they were very disappointed to see that the allocation of the funds went to such kind of charity. She said that it was ironic for the government for taxing women for their biology but handing over the funds to charities that did not believe women should have control over their own bodies.

However, a Life spokesperson said that they believed that the support services for women provided by the charity were not a luxury. She said that the services were essential for the women to have a space to look at options for continuing their pregnancies with support.

On Friday, the government announced that the £12 million (AU$19 million) tampon tax fund would be shared by 70 organisations across the country. The government said that it aimed to improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls. According to minister for civil society Rob Wilson, Suzy Lump Trust would receive a share of £200,000 (AU$329,549) from the tax fund. The charity aimed to help the casework support service for women who were being stalked. Other charities that were getting funds include the Black Country Women's Aid with £240,401 (AU$396,120) and the Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre Cornwall £179,157 (AU$295,205).

The government said that it was committed to continuing the fund until a zero rate of VAT for women's sanitary products would be allowed by the EU rules. The government previously faced rebellion for imposing the tax when Sheriff's proposed amendment was backed by Eurosceptics. However, European Commission's regulations had prevented the members of the states from making an amendment.

Wilson said that the tampon tax has helped the organisations in improving the lives of disadvantaged and abused girls and women. He said that he was happy that many worthwhile organisations benefitted from the money.

How much do women pay in Tampon Tax

Source: YouTube/BBC News