state treasurers plan to discuss tampon tax as Australian women become bloody fed up
State and Federal Treasurers are set to meet in Canberra this Friday to discuss the rising issue of the tax on feminine hygiene products. This comes after the four Labor state governments put pressure on the other state governments to remove the infamous tampon tax.
According to the Canberra Times, Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has admitted that tampons are essential items. ‘Do I think sanitary products are essential? I think so, I think so,’ the Treasurer said during ABC’s question time in May.
After being further questioned on whether he believed the GST should be removed, he replied, ‘It probably should, yes, the answer’s yes.’
The Labor government has released a joint statement, which reveals that Australian women fork out around $300 million on sanitary hygiene per year.
‘We look forward to Mr Hockey putting it to the states and territories, and providing the opportunity for all the treasurers to back it in. The change is simple,’ the statement says.
Four states and territories are already planning to fight for the removal of the tax, including Victoria, Queensland, ACT and South Australia.
‘There is no sensible reason why GST, an unfair tax by its very nature, should be imposed on sanitary products, and it’s high time that this was removed,’ said Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas.
The public are also showing their support for the removal of the tampon tax, with a protest taking place in Sydney’s Martin Place last Friday. The protest consisted of a dancing tampon and a stand-up comedian, as well as women with signs and costumes.
‘I just think half the population menstruates so it’s time that they don’t get taxed for something that’s an essential item for their health and wellbeing,’ one protester told the ABC.
Subeta Vimalarajah, who started the online campaign Stop Taxing My Period, was present at the Martin Place protest, telling ABC reporters that, ‘It’s an issue that’s actually gained national and international support and we’ve had similar campaigns being run in the UK and in Canada, and Canada actually managed to remove their tax on sanitary items with bipartisan support.’
‘Since 2000, the Australian Government has taxed every menstruating Australian 10% every time we get our period. It is estimated that our periods earn the government a whopping $25 million each year! Condoms, lubricants, sunscreen and nicotine patches are all tax-free because they are classed as important health goods. But isn’t the reproductive health and hygiene of 10 million Australians important too?’ the petition says.
Hopefully the meeting in Canberra this Friday will bring results to this long-standing issue, though it doesn’t look like it will be resolved this time around, with NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian releasing a statement saying that she will not support the abolition of the tax.
I for one strongly believe that it’s about time sanitary items became essential health products in Australia, because let’s face it, woman don’t just buy tampons for the pleasure of it. Please sign the Stop Taxing My Period petition to show your support, and hopefully with time and persistence, we can get rid of the tampon tax once and for all.