The fight to remove the GST from women’s sanitary products has gained some impressive new supporters.
The majority of Australian states and territories have jumped on board the push to remove the of GST from women’s sanitary products.
State governments are set to lose around $30 million a year in foregone revenue combined if the plan to see feminine hygiene products excluded from the GST goes ahead, according to Deloitte Access Economics.
Treasurer Joe Hockey is following up on a promise he made this week while appearing on Q&A, where he announced that he would lobby the states and territories to make sanitary products exempt from the Goods and Services Tax.
His comments come after he was questioned on air by university student Subeta Vimalarajah, the founder of a petition which calls on the Government to stop taxing a “bodily function” and remove the tax on pads and tampons and has attracted thousands of signatures.
Hockey said the GST should be removed from the products, and on Tuesday evening announced he had asked his department to cost the change.
This week other Australian states have also come out and shown their support for the change. Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said the state government had supported the removal of GST on sanitary products for a long time, while with South Australia, the Northern Territory and ACT, Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad have also supported the move.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, however, as not jumped into the fray to show his support. Instead, he has deferred the issue to the states, saying that it was up to them to say what should happen to the tampon tax.
On Tuesday, during Question Time, he followed up his earlier comments by saying it was “not something this government has a plan to do”. If all the states and territories can agree, obviously we are happy to hear from them.”
In the online petition, Vimalarajah writes: “People who get periods don’t buy pads and tampons for pleasure, so why are we forced to fork out an extra 10 per cent every two, three, four weeks? Taxing Australians for getting their period isn’t just sexist, it’s fundamentally unfair!”
What do you think about the push to abolish the GST on tampons?