Free period products set to be made available in Scotland

Scotland set to become the first country in the world to make free tampons and sanitary pads a right.

Legislation for Scotland to become the first country in the world to make period products freely available to all is expected to pass its first hurdle at Holyrood.

MSPs from all parties are expected to endorse the general principles of a member’s Bill from Labour’s Monica Lennon.

It comes after a U-turn from the Scottish Government, which announced last week it would back the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill in Tuesday’s vote.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said ministers still had “concerns” about the proposed legislation and would be working with Ms Lennon to produce more “robust” figures about the costs.

The Labour MSP had  originally estimated the Bill – which would introduce a legal right of access to free products such as tampons and sanitary pads –  would cost £9.7m a year.

The Scottish Government estimated the annual bill would be substantially higher at £24m.

Ahead of the debate, groups that have supported the legislation, including Girlguiding Scotland and the trade union Unite, will stage a rally outside Holyrood.