It’s a big week in Greece, as some of the austerity measures demanded by the country’s European creditors—and reluctantly agreed to last week by Greece’s parliament—begin to kick in. Among them: a 23% value-added tax (VAT) now charged on certain items previously taxed at a 13% rate.
These include some arguably optional services, such as restaurants and taxis, and some less optional ones, such as funeral services, condoms, and feminine hygiene products.
The latter category has been something of a political football of late. Consumers in the UK and Australia have been petitioning for a removal of the so-called “tampon tax” (currently at 5% in the UK and 10% in Australia). Canada recently removed its 5% goods and service tax (GST, a rough equivalent of VAT) from tampons and other menstruation-related products. In Ireland and certain US states, there’s no sales tax charged on these items.