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Alþingi agrees to drop ‘pink tax’

12.06.2019 - 14:14
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 Mynd: Jón Þór Víglundsson - RÚV
A bill to lower the so-called ‘pink tax’ on contraceptives and feminine hygiene products was this week approved by Alþingi–and not a moment too soon, according to members of the public interviewed by RÚV.

When the law takes effect on 1st September, the affected products will be taxed at 11 percent instead of the full VAT amount of 24 percent. The lower rate is that charged on essentials, including food. This was the third time the bill was put to Alþingi and its passing into law is celebrated as a victory against sexism—as the current higher tax is paid almost exclusively by women. 

“I really like that they are going to reduce it. It isn’t cheap. It’s about time,” commented Anna Lovísa Jónsdóttir. 

The bill was submitted by Píratar (Pirates) MP Þórhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir and passed with 43 votes in favour. Nine present MPs did not vote. “I want to use this opportunity to encourage consumers, and especially women of course, to pay close attention from the 1st September and check that this important tax reduction is seen in pricing,” Þórhildur said before the parliamentary vote. 

The stated goal of the bill is to lower the cost of essential toiletries and provide more equal access to differing types of contraception. The State is set to lose out on 42 million krónur a year through the lower tax. On the other hand, the health service is expected to save money as a result of better public health. 

How do you feel about this change to the law? “Really good. This is very appropriate. This is something that all women need to use,” says Íris Blöndal Kjartansdóttir. 

“Really good, yes, it’s all extra charges for us, so this is a good thing,” Regína Fossdal said.

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Alexander Elliott
Fréttastofa RÚV