VAT on women’s sanitary products – widely known as the tampon tax – have been scrapped from today.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed the move in the wake of Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) which means the mandatory five per cent levy on such items no longer applies.

“I’m proud that we are today delivering on our promise to scrap the tampon tax,” said Mr Sunak.

“Sanitary products are essential so it’s right that we do not charge VAT.

“We have already rolled out free sanitary products in schools, colleges and hospitals and this commitment takes us another step closer to making them available and affordable for all women."

Felicia Willow, chief executive of The Fawcett Society – a charity campaigning for gender equality and women's rights – said: “We warmly welcome the scrapping of VAT on all sanitary products from January 1, 2021 and congratulate the government on taking this positive step.

“It’s been a long road to reach this point, but at last the sexist tax that saw sanitary products classed as non-essential, luxury items can be consigned to the history books.”

A statement from the Treasury read: “The move honours a government commitment to scrap the tax and is part of a wider strategy to make sanitary products affordable and available for all women which includes January 2020’s rollout of free period products for all young people in English state schools and colleges and extension of the scheme into 2021, the NHS offering period products to every hospital patient who needs them (including long-term in-patients) since 2019, the Tampon Tax Fund, established in 2015, which allocated the funds generated from VAT on period products to projects supporting vulnerable and excluded women and girls."