Well, as recently as LAST YEAR, the goverment confirmed that they have no plans to remove the GST - despite the ALP opposing the GST on pads and tampons at the time it was introduced. In this thread, I encourage you to add articles on why, after 10 years, we're still taxed for using women's sanitary products to ensure our hygiene and comfort!
The federal government says it has no plans to remove the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from tampons, after a major supermarket chain announced it's cutting ten per cent from its prices on female hygiene products.
Coles supermarkets have decided to permanently remove the equivalent cost of the GST from the goods, saying they should be treated the same as basic food, education and medical services, that are exempt from the tax.
Labor campaigned to have female hygiene products exempt in 2000. Advertisement: Story continues below
But assistant treasurer Nick Sherry says there are no plans to remove it now.
"The government has made a commitment to maintain the existing GST arrangements," he told AAP.
While I'm angered that menstruation was compared to something luxurious as shaving, I don't know if I agree with the GST exemption. But then again I'm not very informed on this subject. Is toilet paper exempt from GST? I thought everything had GST except medicines...? And I also feel there are so many other issues pertaining to women and more pressing for our efforts to be focused on. More (summariesd) info on GST would be greatly appreciated.
Post by Erica Chan on May 16, 2010 18:01:13 GMT -5
I support condoms not having GST, since I think they're kind of necessary if we don't want the mass spreading of STDs and unwanted pregnancy, etc. But I would put pads and tampons in the same boat, because they're kind of necessary if we don't want to bleed everywhere. Given that other items like chocolate mousse don't have GST, it seems stupid to put them on something women buy every month.
Honestly, I can certainly see the view that this is something women should give up on. However, I have heard at least three cases where poor women, often homeless, or women in shelters can't afford pads and tampons and are forced to use toilet paper and other uncomfortable substitutes instead. I suppose it's also the symbolism of it all; if men menstruated, for example, I doubt this tax would have gotten through given cock rings are GST-free.
Which means in the end, it's a $20 million dollar tax on women.
As you can see, the exemptions currently in place cover more than medicines and in deed medical needs. For example, if youimport gold, silver or platinum as an investment - so long as gold is at least 99.5% fitness, silver is 99.9% fitness or platinum is at least 99% fitness. You can't seriously tell me that tampons are a luxury item... but a bit of investment platinum isn't! Please correct me if I have misread this site, but having an exemption for importing goods such as platinum and malt extract but not basic women's sanitary items is worrying.
I am in complete agreement with you that there are many issues we should (and in the case of the MSA Women's Department - do) focus our attention on, but this particular issue can hit women hard and, as is more often the focus, demonstrates that basic women's needs are still not understood by a majority of our parliamentarians.
It is my view that all issues oppressing disadvantaged groups (including women) require attention. And when it comes to it, this campaign hasn't really taken us all that much in terms of energy- just one petition which we have been able to whip out at stalls at various events. Tomorrow we will have an open discussion on all things menstruation (only cost involved - it was decided by the Women's Collective that this should be accompanied by fairtrade organic chocolate, which we got a a reasonably cheap price). We will also have one of our stalls where there shall be fairy bread (inexpensive and can be tweaked to suit almost all dietary requirements) and free symbolic red sashes, to be tied around our waists (again, the fabric was sourced quite cheaply). So all in all, this campaign has cost us very little, both in terms of funds and energy, and is something which has received a lot of support on campus.
I have found over the past year-and-a-bit that most people are strongly against the GST on women's sanitary items, and 9 times out of 10 those who are not don't realise that such items as malt extract (for beverages) are GST exempt - once they do, they usually agree that pads and tampons are definately more essential than malt extract!
Myself, I think it’s only fair that pads, tampons, menstrual cups and other such menstrual hygiene items be included on this list!
A Brief list of Some Imported Items Exempt From GST in Australia
“Milk, skim milk, butter milk (whether liquid, powdered, concentrated or condensed); casein; whey, whey powder or paste.”
“Malt extract, if it is marketed principally for drinking purposes.”
“Condoms. Barrier dams, femidoms and harness devices. Personal and surgical lubricants that: (a) are water soluble; and (b) are suitable for use with condoms”
“Urinals and bedpans. Penile clamps. Customised eating equipment for people with disabilities. Customised toothbrushes for people with disabilities. Dentures and artificial teeth. Environmental control units designed for the disability of a particular person. Computer modifications required for people with disabilities. Medical alert devices. Finger prickers. Alcohol skin wipes.”
“Precious metals (as defined by s 195-1 of GST Act).”