Maria Walsh MEP calls for an end to Pink Tax

Speaking to Newstalk, Maria Walsh MEP called for an end to ‘Pink Tax’:

MEP for Midlands-North West Maria Walsh has said the pink tax has been raised at EU-level.

“From my research, and from my living as a woman, sadly pink tax is a system of discriminator pricing on products and services based on gender,” she said.

“You have wide reports that a female could spent well over €1,300 a year more than a male when you look at shopping to dry cleaning to hair cuts.

“We’re hearing it and we’re seeing it, which we welcome, more and more coming from right across the political house.

“Myself in the EPP Group working with colleagues like Maria Spyraki, an MEP from the Mediterranean part of the EU… along with Francis Fitzgerald has really striving to raise awareness with this [and] push the Commission to have a standard pricing right across the EU.”

Ms Walsh said one such example is pricing of period products.

“You have, let’s just say, period products the VAT on that would be very, very different if you look at Hungary to ourselves,” she said.

“While we abolished it earlier this year, you’ve some countries that are charging well excess of 27%, to 4%, to 9% depending on where you are.

“Untimely with this pink tax is the imbalance that we have as women, buying anything from body wash that a male could walk in and buy the exact same but on a different shelf and driven to him, versus us paying a much higher rate for that.”

‘Power of the consumer’

Ms Walsh said some companies are making a conscious decision around pricing.

“This is where the power of the consumer comes from,” she said.

“You have some companies that are doing phenomenal work at making sure there’s a gender balance, that the female is not paying more in comparison to men.

Sadly you have predominantly larger corporations, when you look at the likes of period products… you could also see an increase [in the price] of the product itself.

“So, the consumer is not seeing the VAT abolishment or the percentage drop because the actual product hasn’t changed.

The retailer is adding it on to the consumer at the end of the day, really defeating the purpose of what we try and do.”

Ms Walsh said untimely people should be shopping around and taking note of even pricing.

“Where do we go, what should we be buying, is there companies we should be celebrating, endorsing?” she said.

“That we’re really taking back that power and not at the helm of a retailer or a producer who’s charging far too much when it comes to female products,” she added.