A surprising turn of events in Chancellor George Osborne's autumn statement on Wednesday was a concession to the controversial tampon tax.

Men's razors, crocodile meat and Jaffa Cakes are all currently taxed at a zero per cent rate - while tampons and other essential items for menstruating women are classed as a 'luxury' item and taxed at five per cent.

Citing an idea floated by Colchester's Tory MP Will Quince, Osborne praised the work of charities that support vulnerable women, and said that the £15million raised from menstruating women for the Treasury each year will now go to women's charities until such time there is a review of EU rules.

Comparing the idea to the way Libor fines are implemented, the Chancellor acknowledged that 300,000 people have signed a petition asking for tax on tampons to be scrapped.

"We already charge the lowest five per cent rate allowed under European law," the Chancellor added.

The first £5million will go to women's charities such as Eve and Safe Lives, the Chancellor said.

Jess Phillips, the Labour MP for Birmingham who is vocal about women's rights, reportedly shouted "You're not paying for it, George, I am!" from the Labour benches.

A recent amendment to the Finance Bill that proposed abolishing the five per cent tax on sanitary products failed in parliament.

During Prime Minister's Questions earlier on Wednesday, Jeremy Corbyn asked David Cameron what the government planned to do to maintain the work of domestic violence shelters and women's charities in light of the fact today marks International End Violence Against Women Day.

Domestic violence refuge provisions are at crisis point, charities warned this month, following rounds of cuts under the Coalition and Conservative governments.

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