DCMS clarifies position on Tampon Tax Fund following sector criticism

20 Dec 2017 News

The charities minister has clarified that charities can use grants from the Tampon Tax Fund for awareness raising, so long as the intention is not to change government policy or attract more funding.

The statement from Tracey Crouch, minister for sport and civil society, overrides written guidance saying "campaigning and awareness raising" will not be funded.

The clarification comes following questions in parliament, and criticism from charities that the fund was preventing them from speaking out.

The Tampon Tax Fund gives away money raised from VAT on tampons in grants to women's charities. The guidance contains several restrictions, which prompted challenge earlier this month from Vicky Browning, chief executive of leadership body Acevo.

Crouch clarified the government's position in her written answers to two questions from Steve Reed, the shadow minister.

"Successful applicants can use Tampon Tax Fund funding to promote their project to potential beneficiaries, and to organisations and individuals, which may refer beneficiaries to the project," she said.

"However, the following cannot be funded by the Tampon Tax Fund: activity intended to influence or attempt to influence parliament, government or political parties, or attempting to influence the awarding or renewal of contracts and grants, or attempting to influence legislative or regulatory action."

Promoting awareness

A spokeswoman for Crouch also clarified an apparent discrepancy in the guidance, identified by Browning, in which the government banned "awareness raising" but said it would favour bids from charities to "promote awareness" of certain issues facing women.

The government has now clarified that activities which promote awareness of issues, without demanding government action, are to be favoured.

DCMS has also updated the online guidance for applicants

 

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