Last month MPs voted against removing the "tampon tax".
MPs didn't vote on whether to remove the tax (which can't be done without changing EU law). The amendment they voted against was on whether the government should have to set out a "road map" for how it will negotiate with the EU to get sanitary products exempt from VAT.
There's been some confusion over what MPs actually voted on last month, with some saying they voted against getting the 5% VAT rate on sanitary products removed.
EU rules mean that VAT rates can't be lowered below 5% without agreement across Europe. The vote in Parliament was on whether the government should have to set out a "road map" to how it will seek to get sanitary products exempt from these rules—it wasn't a vote to actually remove the 5% VAT rate on sanitary products (which would've been against EU law), or a vote for or against the principle of charging VAT on these products.
The vote was rejected. If it had been approved, the amendment would have forced the government to set out a strategy within three months on how it would negotiate with the European Union institutions to get the tax removed, and to report on progress against this strategy by April 2016.
As the EU's VAT laws have to be passed "unanimously" by Member States, the government has to get agreement across Europe to amend them before it can make sanitary products exempt.
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