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17th Apr 2024

‘Bras should be exempt from VAT to prevent women paying extortionate prices for a basic necessity’

Sophie Collins


We strongly back this

Doctors are pushing for bras to be exempt from VAT to alleviate the financial burden on women and to prioritise their health.

The topic was highlighted at the annual conference of the British Society of Radiographers.

The motion being debated at the conference highlighted the importance of making bras more affordable, especially for women with larger bra sizes who often experience discomfort and health issues due to inadequate support. 

According to the motion, investing in a good-quality, well-fitted bra could alleviate some of these health issues.

In an interview with Lunchtime Live, Sinéad Sanderson, owner of Peaches & Cream, emphasised the necessity of a VAT exemption for bras.

She explained that it would benefit women significantly and said there can be such financial strain when purchasing bras due to the escalating costs from a 23% VAT imposed on these essential items.

Sanderson said she is concerned over the impact of rising prices on women’s ability to afford bras, particularly in the midst of soaring inflation. 

She revealed that many women perceive buying a new bra as a luxury they cannot afford, resulting in delayed or neglected purchases of essential undergarments.

At Peaches & Cream, Sanderson said that the price of sports bras – which are essential for active women – range between €50 to €70, deterring many from investing in proper support for physical activities. 

She stressed the adverse effects of using inadequate bras on women’s health, citing instances where ill-fitted bras can lead to back pain and to costly physiotherapy sessions.

Sanderson says we need to urgently bring in a VAT exemption on bras to mitigate the financial burden on women and to promote better health practices. 

Currently, VAT applies to all clothing items except those intended for children under the age of 11. 

However, advocates argue that exempting bras from VAT would not only prioritise women’s health but also alleviate financial strain on thousands of customers.