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U.K. ministers consider dropping luxury tax on condoms

U.K. ministers consider dropping luxury tax on condoms

Because condoms are considered a luxury item in the United Kingdom, they carry a 17.5% value-added tax. But some key U.K. government officials are beginning to move forward on plans to dramatically reduce the tax, The Guardian reports. Health ministry officials are holding talks with staff members from the treasury about dropping the tax to 5%. Completely eliminating the value-added tax would require a new directive by the European Union. Currently, about 30 pence (55 cents U.S.) from each three-pack of condoms (which costs $3.65 U.S.) goes to the government. "The price of condoms is prohibitively high," independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV chairwoman Baroness Joyce Gould told The Guardian. "They are certainly not a luxury; they are a health necessity." U.K. pharmacy chain Superdrug last week launched a campaign to repeal the value-added tax on condoms. The retailer reduced their prices on condoms by 17.5% to correspond to the additional percentage in taxes buyers currently pay and initiated an online petition calling for the end of the luxury tax on condoms.

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