Australian women could save between $10 and $40 a year now that the federal government has bowed to pressure to remove the country’s “tampon tax” from female sanitary products.
But this really isn’t about economics, it’s a matter of principle and it just so happens that a federal election is looming.
After 17 years of public campaigning since the GST was introduced, Treasurer Scott Morrison announced over the weekend that the federal government would remove the tax on tampons if it gets the unanimous support of state and territory governments.
The GST is currently applied to tampons and sanitary products on the basis that these items are a luxury-spend, while GST is not applied to condoms or Viagra as these are deemed essential health items.
Just last month, India announced it would scrap a 12 per cent tax on women’s tampons and sanitary products, as part of significant reforms to bring the fast-growing nation under the umbrella of a single tax system.
Since the GST was introduced in 2001, the federal government has collected just over half a billion dollars in total revenue over 17 years, thanks to the sale of tampons.
If you consider that some women have been paying for sanitary items for the past 17 years, that equates to between $170 and $680 per woman.