Following an appearance on Q&A last night, the Federal Treasurer is getting behind the ‘Stop taxing my period’ petition.
Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has announced that he will lobby the states and territories to make sanitary products exempt from the Goods and Services Tax.
His announcement follows the launch of an online petition, started by university student Subeta Vimalarajah, which calls on the Government to stop taxing a “bodily function” and remove the tax on pads and tampons.
The campaign has quickly grown in popularity and so far has attracted more than 90,000 signatures. During a special post-budget episode of Q&A last night Ms Vimalarajah put her concerns directly to the Treasurer.
“Do you think that sanitary products are an essential health good for half the population?” she asked Hockey.
The Treasurer said when the GST was negotiated through the Senate by the Howard Government, sanitary products were not on the list of exemptions brokered by the Democrats.
Mr Hockey then committed to raise the issue with state treasurers, saying he would need their agreement to grant the exemption.
The ‘Stop taxing my period petition’ petition states “Since 2000, the Australian Government has taxed every menstruating Australian 10 per cent every time we get our period. It is estimated that our periods earn the government a whopping $25 million each year!
“And how can a bodily function be taxed? Because the government doesn’t consider the tampons and pads we’re forced to buy every few weeks ‘necessary’ enough to be GST-free. On the other hand, 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?
“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 2, 3, 4 weeks? Taxing Australians for getting their period isn’t just sexist, it’s fundamentally unfair!”
What do you think about Joe Hockey’s promise to try and make sanitary products exempt from the Goods and Services Tax?