A scheme to give free sanitary products to women on low incomes has been launched in Scotland.

The pilot in Aberdeen will be run by Community Food Initiatives North East, a social enterprise focused on improving health for those in poverty, funded by £42,500 set aside by the Scottish Government.

A six-month trial will run in seven areas being regenerated across the city, helping over 1,000 women including schoolgirls who have been impacted by the benefit cap and who find basic sanitary products too expensive.

Eligible women are issued with a so-called 'S-Card' they can then show at their local pharmacy, supermarket or doctor to get the products for free.

Martin Lewis
Get Our Free Money Tips Email!

Could the scheme go national if a success?

The move comes after the 'period poverty' campaign was launched by Scottish Labour's equalities spokesperson Monica Lennon shortly after she was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2016.

Lennon said: "We need to end period poverty and improve access to sanitary products right across Scotland and that's why I will soon be launching a consultation on a Member's Bill proposal which will give all women in Scotland the right to access these products for free, regardless of their income."

The Scottish Government says the trial will determine whether the scheme will be rolled out to the whole of Scotland.

As for the rest of the UK, in March 2017 the Government announced it was considering supplying the country's poorest schoolgirls with free sanitary products, after it emerged a charity which donates the items to Kenya to combat 'period poverty' had begun doing so in Yorkshire.

In March Education Secretary Justine Greening told MPs she would "look at" the issue following reports that female pupils in the UK were failing to attend school because they couldn't afford sanitary products.

The tampon tax controversy

Unlike many other medical products, sanitary items are still subject to 5% VAT in the UK, with the Government so far resisting calls to ditch the so-called "tampon tax".

In the US in July 2016, New York City's mayor passed legislation making free sanitary products available in the city's public schools, shelters and jails.