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Free period products scheme expands to further venues

Free period products scheme expands to further venues

Tuesday 02 May 2023

Free period products scheme expands to further venues

Tuesday 02 May 2023


Free period products will now be available at foodbanks and youth centres around the island as the Government expands its pilot scheme.

Launched in October 2022, the pilot scheme made period products available at the town and Communicare libraries, Les Quennevais Sports Centre, Fort Regent, and the Customer and Local Services hub in La Motte Street.

The scheme has now been expanded to include further venues, and islanders will be able to access products from the Shelter Trust, St Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army foodbanks, the Youth Enquiry Service, and St James' Centre.

Students remain able to access free period products in their school or college during term time.

The expansion of the pilot scheme forms part of an initiative that was a "key commitment" of Chief Minister Kristina Moore's 100 Day Action Plan.

Moore_Kristina.jpg

Pictured: Kristina Moore initially fronted a proposition to remove GST from period products in 2022, but decided to deliver on the overall goal of her proposal in a different way after becoming Chief Minister.

Last year, the States Assembly voted in favour of a proposal from then-Senator Kristina Moore to scrap the so-called 'tampon tax' by removing the GST from period products.

However, after becoming Chief Minister, Deputy Moore decided to deliver on the overall goal of her proposal in a different way – by placing free period products in various locations around the island.

When Chief Scrutineer Sam Mézec challenged the Chief Minister on the apparent lack of progress on the GST removal, Deputy Moore argued the free products scheme meant "the intention of my proposition has therefore been achieved and exceeded."

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Pictured: Deputy Millar said "no one should feel embarrassed or feel they are unable to go to school or work because they do not have the period products they need".

The £600,000 scheme to provide free period products was approved as part of the Government's emergency mini-budget to tackle the cost-of-living crisis. It aims to address period poverty, ensure period dignity, and remove stigma around the subject of periods.

Speaking at the scheme's launch, Social Security Minister Deputy Elaine Millar commented: "No one should feel embarrassed or feel they are unable to go to school or work because they do not have the period products they need."

However, questions were later raised over the environmental friendliness of the scheme – with Deputy Millar admitting that single-use tampons and sanitary towels containing plastic rather than sustainable alternatives were selected as they were the most "economically advantageous" option.

Deputy Millar added the type of products used in future may be tweaked depending on responses to the consultation.

For more information and to provide feedback, visit gov.je/periods.

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