Drop the GST on periods

 

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“Where’s the social and economic justice?”

Picture yourself strolling through a local convenience store or supermarket and stocking up on sunscreen for the summer, nicotine products and lubricants. Why is it fair that these products are GST exempt but the essential sanitary products of pads and tampons have a 10 per cent tax put in place?

In 2015, Bill Shorten went against Tony Abbott’s decision to keep the GST on sanitary products for women. However, on the 8th of June, 2016, Shorten was asked “if elected will you drop the GST on tampons?” He failed to admit that it would take place stating, “no, i’ve to say, I’m not going to make a promise I can’t keep.” During the live stream of the forum held in Brisbane, it was clearly evident that Shorten was steering away from the main question by bringing in the issues of cutting back on medical costs and protecting Medicare.

Why are pads and tampons deemed as a ‘luxury’ and non-essential?

While the tax can be easily ignored by women who can afford as much as $12,000 in a lifetime on these ‘luxuries,’ it is one of the most difficult challenges for homeless women. Homeless women are often found stealing sanitary products from the local stores and fined 5 times as much as the cost of the products. Periods for them is not a lifestyle choice.

New York, Canada and Kenya have all removed the tax on menstrual products so why is Australia falling behind?

As women, we can all agree that periods are agonising enough. Picture how excruciating it is for homeless women. Let’s put a halt on the tampon tax!

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