More on the Australia Tampon Tax: Tax Aromatherapy Instead?

ABC News Australia has a story by Louise Yaxley on the tampon tax repeal efforts there. Here is an excerpt from Senate Vote to Scrap ‘Tampon Tax’ Won’t Stop Women Paying 10 Per Cent More for Sanitary Products:

The GST on tampons and pads has been a hot political issue since the consumption tax was introduced in 2000.

Queensland LNP senator Amanda Stoker was the only person to speak against the bill in the Senate today.

She called it a “nice political gesture” but said it was not the biggest issue facing Australian women.

“What’s not front of mind for women in this country is the approximately $11 a year they pay in GST on tampons,” Senator Stoker said.

Greens senator Janet Rice told the Senate that sanitary products were essential products that should not be taxed.

“It is frankly ridiculous that while items like sunscreen, folic acid, toothpaste, lubricants, condoms and even Viagra are exempt from GST, sanitary products are not,” Senator Rice said.

Removing the tax would cost the Government about $30 million a year in revenue.

Federal Labor has a promised to remove the GST from tampons and pads and to make up the money by applying the tax to some forms of alternative therapy including herbalism, iridology and aromatherapy.

The full story is here.

Just because the tampon tax is not the “biggest issue facing Australian women” does not mean that it should not be addressed. As Francine Lipman (UNLV Law) writes here:

Why do we have to chose issues that are both important; movements/progress are incremental so pushing forward on a number of fronts for justice has success. I am writing about state/local tax systems & sales/excise tax burdens far outweigh income tax burdens for most US families.

Spot on.

And taxing “alternative therapies” that Australia’s Chief Medical Officer and  National Health and Medical Research Council found “were not supported by evidence“? Entirely sensible until proven otherwise and giant progress compared with taxing women on a product they need because they are women.

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