Socialist Group in European Parliament launches petition to cut VAT on condoms
9th November 2007
An online petition launched today, 8 November 2007, urges EU governments to cut VAT on condoms to tackle the growth of AIDS in Europe. The European Parliament Socialist Group will present the petition to government ministers ahead of World AIDS Day on 1 December. Hundreds of Facebook users have already joined a group on the social networking site to support the campaign under the slogan "Cut Aids Cut VAT on Condoms".
Across Europe, VAT rates currently range up to 25 per cent in Sweden and Denmark. The 27 EU member states are free to fix their own VAT rates on condoms. The only requirement under EU law is that they set a minimum rate of five per cent. Socialist Group vice-president Jan Marinus Wiersma, who launched today's online petition at www.socialistgroup.eu said:
"HIV-AIDS is not just an issue for developing countries or specific groups in society. The World Health Organisation confirms that new HIV infection rates are growing in its European region. In the European Union 26,984 newly diagnosed cases of HIV infection were reported in 2005. The predominant mode of transmission is heterosexual.
"Cutting VAT on condoms to the minimum rate would be both a practical step in tackling AIDS and a powerful symbolic gesture on World AIDS Day.
"People power can spur governments to act. We urge people across Europe to take a few minutes to sign our online petition and to join our Facebook group."
The petition is at www.socialistgroup.eu and on Facebook
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November 9 2007, Tony Robinson, The Socialist Group in the European Parliament