German news reports suggested this week that female hygiene product manufacturers are considering price hikes weeks after a tax break went into effect.
Earlier this month, taxes on female hygiene products such as tampons and sanitary pads dropped from 19% to 7% following pressure from rights groups.
But Frankfurt-based industry newspaper Lebensmittel Zeitung reported that manufacturers had proposed “double-digit” price increases that could bump the price up to previous figures.
German retailers such as Rewe and DM have apparently pushed back against the price increases, Lebensmittel Zeitung and Berlin-based Der Tagesspiegel reported, quoting anonymous corporate contacts.
‘Not a luxury’
Last year, a petition calling for changes to the tax status of female hygiene products garnered more than 180,000 signatures. The online campaign was called “Periods are not a luxury.”
In October, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz of the Social Democratic Party announced the tax break, saying: “Many women campaigned for this, and now we’re making it happen.”
Prior to the change, tampons and sanitary pads were taxed at the same rate as beer, wine and cigarettes.
Amid growing global awareness about the importance of female hygiene products, countries are taking action to reduce or abolish taxes on female hygiene products.
In Europe, Hungary has one of the highest taxes at 27% while Ireland and Malta are the only countries that do not tax female hygiene products, according to EU data.