Federal Politics

Save
Print
License article

Tampon tax to stay, as move to vote it down fails. Again

Tampons and sanitary pads will remain 'luxury' items in Australia, after the Coalition and Labor voted down a Greens Senate move to axe the tax applied to women's sanitary items.

Up Next

Wanted: remote area lighthouse keeper

null
Video duration
01:46

More National News Videos

Tampon tax debate returns

A Greens senator has reignited debate for the GST on women's sanitary items to be removed, saying they're not a luxury.

Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters attempted to scrap the "tampon tax" as part of an amendment to the government's legislation which will see the GST added to imported goods worth less than $1000, but was voted down 33 to 15.

Labor, which has publicly stated its opposition to applying the GST to tampons and sanitary pads, said it still believed in removing the tax, but in a different way.

"Exempting sanitary products from the GST needs to be done upfront and transparently with the Commonwealth and states and territories onside," Senator Katy Gallagher said.

"The fact of the matter is that if the Greens amendment was successful in getting up today it would have sunk the GST Low Value Threshold legislation ensuring that thousands of Australian retailers continue without a level playing field against foreign retailers."

Advertisement

But Senator Waters said women were being taxed "for existing".

"The costings show the states will not be worse off – in fact they will still be $185 million ahead given the GST bill just passed with the support of Labor and the Coalition - so there is no revenue excuse to keep balancing the budget off the back of women's biology."

The tax on sanitary items has become almost an annual debate since the products were deemed a non-essential, or luxury item, as part of the Howard government negotiations with the Democrats to get the GST passed.

It's estimated women spend about $300 million on the non-essential items every year, contributing about $30 million to the GST's bottom line.

25 comments

Comment are now closed