Thousands of Australians have signed a petition demanding the GST on pads and tampons to be removed.
Over 34,500 people have signed an online petition, addressed to Treasurer Joe Hockey, asking for the “sexist” and “fundamentally unfair” tax to be removed in the upcoming GST review.
The tax has been in place since 2000, meaning that for the last 15 years, every menstruating Australian is taxed 10 per cent every time they get their period – because the government doesn’t consider sanitary items to be “health goods”.
Interesting – because condoms, lubricant and incontinence pads are all exempt from the tax.
The petition online was started by student Subeta Vimalarajah, who says most Australians aren’t even aware of the tax.
“With Joe Hockey’s tax review coming up, this is the perfect opportunity to submit [the petition] to him directly,” she told Buzzfeed.
Back in 2000, when then Prime Minister John Howard introduced the GST, he was forced to defend his choice to tax tampons.
“Of course if you look at tampons in isolation – just as you look at something else in isolation – you can mount an argument to take the tax off it,” he told the ABC art the time.
“But… If you start doing that, you will have no GST in the end, and the whole system will begin to unravel.”
Is the tax sexist? Should it be removed?