A Taxing Issue

@WorDazza (10106)
Manchester, England
October 30, 2015 7:36am CST
What's the difference between a Jaffa Cake (other spongy, orangey, chocolate covered biscuits are available) and a tampon? No, this isn't the opening line to a post-watershed joke, nor is it a rhetorical question. The reason I ask is because, in the UK, one of these items is considered an essential, thus avoiding VAT (Value Added Tax) while the other one is not considered an essential and attracts VAT. And yes, you've guessed it. In this cock-eyed, profit-hungry world we inhabit it is the Jaffa Cake that is considered an essential. Rather strangely, biscuits are considered a luxury whereas cakes in general (not just the Jaffa) are considered essentials. Now I don't know about you but when I was kid I considered a Victoria Sponge or a chocolate gateau to be the height of luxury. Not so the Rich Tea biscuit! Any Sunday visit to my grandmother's was met with great disappointment if all she had to offer was a Rich Tea, the ultimate runt of the biscuit litter! It seems I had no idea what I was talking about as the sly old fox was obviously enticing me into a world of bourgeois hedonism which even Caligula in his prime couldn't match! Nice one Grandma! So come on UK government! If a razor blade is considered an essential then surely so should a tampon!
10 people like this
9 responses
@boiboing (12476)
• Northampton, England
30 Oct 15
Oh I could bore for England on the Jaffa debate.
3 people like this
@WorDazza (10106)
• Manchester, England
30 Oct 15
Before you even consider the issue of should cakes have VAT attached to them you have the is it or isn't it saga when it comes to it's actual status, cake or biscuit. A veritable minefield!
2 people like this
30 Oct 15
@WorDazza Um, it's definitely a cake. It goes hard when it's left to the elements. Don't you know nothing, boy?!
2 people like this
@WorDazza (10106)
• Manchester, England
30 Oct 15
@Poppylicious Still doesn't explain why a cake is deemed to be an essential. I don't ever recall being in any life threatening situation where my immediate thought was "if only I had a pineapple upside down cake!!"
2 people like this
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
30 Oct 15
Here in the US, sales tax varies from state to state. In New Hampshire (Live Free or Die) there is no sales tax on anything. Here in Massachusetts there is no sales tax on clothing, food or health care products (including feminine hygiene products ). It's hard to believe that such products or any kind of food (except in restaurants) is taxed at all. In the US, only the most left-leaning states tax any essential or commonly needed items. Even in The People's Republic of Taxachusets these items are not taxed.
2 people like this
@WorDazza (10106)
• Manchester, England
30 Oct 15
So is it possible, if you live close to a state border, to nip into the next state to buy something free of tax that's taxed in your own state?
2 people like this
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
31 Oct 15
@WorDazza Definitely. I used to go to NH with my sister every weekend. People also go there to buy fireworks, because they're not legal to sell here in MA, but they love them some fireworks up there in NH. They also have state-run liquor stores which have cheaper prices. New Hampshire doesn't have any income tax, either. No income tax, no sales tax.
2 people like this
@WorDazza (10106)
• Manchester, England
31 Oct 15
@Rollo1 Currently googling job opportunities in New Hampshire
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
30 Oct 15
Listened to a debate on the tampons topic this afternoon on the radio. The issue was questioned even in Thatcher's day but she just flatly refused to change the laws. Later governments have just followed suit. It's diabolical.
2 people like this
@WorDazza (10106)
• Manchester, England
30 Oct 15
Hmmmmm! Adds fuel to the rumours that Mrs. Thatch was a man!!!
2 people like this
• Preston, England
3 Nov 15
@WorDazza I'd question her species let alone her gender
2 people like this
@MALUSE (40118)
• Germany
30 Oct 15
We have similar bizarre decisions in Germany.
2 people like this
@WorDazza (10106)
• Manchester, England
30 Oct 15
I had a feeling we Brits didn't have a monopoly on stupidity. It does make one wonder exactly who makes these decisions. And I don't mean which government department. I mean the actual individuals involved. I'd love to speak to them just to here them attempt to defend their decisions personally. I suspect it might be quite entertaining.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (157357)
• Switzerland
30 Oct 15
I know that we have stupid laws like this one in Italy, I printed a list of nonsense like this, but I do not remember where I put the papers.
2 people like this
@WorDazza (10106)
• Manchester, England
30 Oct 15
This just goes to show that governments all over the world are equally stupid!!!
2 people like this
30 Oct 15
This has been an issue for decades. We were disputing paying tax on sanitary products when I was at uni ... I think we even had a protest march. Not that I was at uni DECADES ago, although it feels like it now. :)
2 people like this
• Canada
2 Nov 15
I guess the taxman didn't have a mother.
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (10106)
• Manchester, England
2 Nov 15
And possibly the identity of his father was questionable too!!!
@sofssu (14462)
2 Nov 15
What logic do they use to classify these products? Its so silly.
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (10106)
• Manchester, England
2 Nov 15
From what I've seen, absolutely no logic what so ever!!!
@jstory07 (67081)
• Roseburg, Oregon
31 Oct 15
A tampon is something a women needs so it should be considered an essential.
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (10106)
• Manchester, England
31 Oct 15
Well indeed! I'm yet to hear a convincing argument as to why they aren't considered essentials!!