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Pressure grows on ministers to cut Belgian 'tampon tax'

23:40 17/07/2017

Belgian consumer rights association Test-Achats this week launched a new campaign putting renewed pressure on the Belgian government to cut the 21% tax rate on women's sanitary products.

A spokesperson for federal finance minister Johan Van Overtveldt said cutting the VAT rate on tampons and sanitary pads to 6% "could be done quickly, if everyone puts their words into action".

"The matter has been ready for a long time and is awaiting discussion by ministers," the spokesperson added.

Test-Achats launched its latest campaign against the "tampon tax" in Le Soir and De Standaard newspapers on Monday, saying a reform of the discriminatory practice was long overdue.

Budget minister Sophie Wilmès and economy minister Kris Peeters are reportedly in favour of the tax cut, which was one of the Charles Michel government's pledges at the end of last year.

Ecolo member of parliament Muriel Gerkens said it was clear that "this government does not consider fighting poverty and discrimination against women a priority".