back to top

Is The Tax On Tampons Sexist?

"Unwanted monthly subscription to Lucifer's waterfall shouldn't be taxed."

Posted on

So student activist Subeta Vimalarajah has started a petition addressed to Joe Hockey to remove the tampon tax in the upcoming review of the GST.

"Since 2000, the Australian Government has taxed every menstruating Australian 10% every time we get our period. It is estimated that our periods earn the government a whopping $25 million each year," she writes on the petition page.

"People who get periods don't buy pads and tampons for pleasure, so why are we forced to fork out an extra 10% every 2, 3, 4 weeks? Taxing Australians for getting their period isn't just sexist, it's fundamentally unfair!"

Subeta says many Australians have no idea that there's a GST on sanitary products.

foxadhd.tumblr.com

"I knew there was some controversy about it in 2013, and was chatting to a friend about it and I just assumed that it had been removed," she told BuzzFeed News. "With Joe Hockey's tax review coming up, this is the perfect opportunity to submit it to him directly."

The petition has now reached its goal of 20,000 signatures.

One of the supporters wrote, "Unwanted monthly subscription to Lucifer's waterfall shouldn't be taxed." Another said, "I bleed and I vote."

The issue has been surrounded by controversy ever since then-prime minister John Howard introduced the GST in 2000.

Nick Wilson / Getty Images

The tax committee classified a tampon as a "personal hygiene product rather than a product used to treat an illness or a disease or a disability".

Amid criticism from his own party and outrage from the opposition, John Howard was forced to defend the decision.

"I mean, 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.

"I could mount an argument to take the tax off children's clothes. I could mount an argument to take the tax off old people's clothes, I could mount an argument for a whole lot of things.

But we've had that argument and if you start doing that, you will have no GST in the end, and the whole system will begin to unravel."

A spokesperson for health minister Sussan Ley said this was not an issue for the department, and referred BuzzFeed News to assistant treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who did not respond to a request for an interview.

  1. Do you think the GST on pads and tampons should be removed?

    Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    retro-fiend.tumblr.com
    Absolutely. Tampons and pads are a necessity. Period.
    No way, that'd undermine the whole tax system. The whole idea is bloody stupid.

Is The Tax On Tampons Sexist?

Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
Get the app
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later
Looks like we are having a problem on the server.
Do you think the GST on pads and tampons should be removed?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Absolutely. Tampons and pads are a necessity. Period.
  2.  
    vote votes
    No way, that'd undermine the whole tax system. The whole idea is bloody stupid.

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss