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Axe the tax, period

Tuesday, 13th March, 2018

Jasmin Algate (16) is just one local who has signed the petition in hope of removing the tax from feminine hygiene products Jasmin Algate (16) is just one local who has signed the petition in hope of removing the tax from feminine hygiene products

By Emily Ferguson

We live in a world where feminine hygiene products are classed as ‘non-essential items’, in other words a luxury product.  

On March 1, a Federal petition was launched which requires 100,000 signatures by March 30 to be considered. Should the petition succeed this would mean tampons and pads would be confirmed as a basic necessity in Australia and therefore GST-free. 

The movement and petition is called ‘Axe the Tax Period’, run by a non-profit organisation Share the Dignity. The petition has been circulating on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag, #axethetaxperiod. 

Feminine hygiene products are not included in the Federal Government’s list of important health goods but the list does include items such as condoms, nicotine patches, Viagra and sunscreen, which therefore do not incur GST. 

Yet a women’s monthly period is deemed non-essential and they have to pay 10 percent GST for sanitary items. Sanitary items require Therapeutic Goods Association approval, which only applies to medical items but these products are still classed as “non-essential”.

Once the petition period has closed, it will be presented to the House of Representatives and will become a record of the House. 

Tanya Plibersek, Deputy Opposition Leader, described the decision to slap tax on women’s sanitary products as “dumb”. 

“Only a bunch of blokes sitting around a table would come to the conclusion that sanitary pads are anything than an essential good,” Ms Plibersek said.

Rochelle Courtenay, founder of Share the Dignity, said access to sanitary care was a fundamental right and the tax violates this. 

“We’ve tried as a community and as a nation to say we’re all going to sign this petition and this is not okay, but the politicians don’t care; they’re male and it doesn’t affect them. It’s not right,” she said. 

Sixteen-year-old local, Jasmin Algate, shared her opinion on the issue yesterday.

“This is an issue that women should not still have to be fighting today. I believe every single woman in Australia should sign this petition because it affects all of us, and if there is no change, no woman is going to benefit by the tax staying in place,” said Jasmin. 

“A woman’s period is a private thing but this is a public matter.”

There are just over 29,000 signatures on the petition and with only 16 days to go that is not enough. To sign the petition and support the movement go to - sharethedignity.com.au/axethetax/

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