Zero rating for e-publications and womens sanitary products (aka abolision of the "tampon tax")
E-publications will be zero-rated from 1 December 2020, and women's sanitary products will be zero rated from 1 January 2021, with the tax breaks expected to be passed onto consumers.
It may seem to some a bit strange that these products were ever taxed at all. After all, VAT is a tax on luxury goods and services, and it would be a sad world if we saw either of the above as luxury items. However, on joining the EU in 1973, the UK could not then choose to apply the zero rate to products which were not already zero rated. E-books didn't exist back then, and, well, who knows the rationale behind purchase tax on sanitary products. Anyway, an EU ruling in 2018 permitted EU countries to zero rate e-books in line with their physical counterparts. The UK didn't adopt this until the case of News Corp UK & Ireland Ltd "forced their hand" when the judge ruled that there was very little difference between e-books and normal books. With sanitary products, the EU still does not permit zero rating. However, as of 1 January 2021, we will be free to legislate as we see fit (provided, of course, that the transition period does end on 31 December 2020). I only hope that once the government loses this stream of tax revenue, it continues to donate funds to period poverty as it has been doing.