"The price of condoms is set to fall by 12.5% when they are reclassified as "essential" rather than "luxury" items under VAT regulations.
The chancellor, Gordon Brown, is understood to be preparing to include the measure, which will also affect other contraceptives such as the morning after pill, in his March 22 budget.
Reclassifying contraceptives from the 17.5% "luxury" rate to the 5% "essential" will cost £10m a year in VAT revenue. Campaigners have been arguing for the change to bring the price down, particularly so as to encourage teenagers to use contraception."
If the rate of VAT changes from 17.5% to 5%, then the reduction in the price of the goods is not 12.5% but 10.64%. Trivial, I know, but typical innumeracy nowadays.