Acting Shadow Minister for Women Jenny Aitchison is welcoming the decision to scrap the unfair and sexist tax on feminine hygiene products but is calling for further action on the systemic taxation of women.

Women throughout Australia have been waiting years for the Liberal Government at State and Federal levels to listen to them and remove the unfair ‘Tampon Tax’.

Despite this apparent victory for women Ms Aitchison said women remain hesitant in celebrating the announcement as there is yet to be a commitment on which sanitary items will now be exempt from the GST.

The change to GST on feminine hygiene products is set to commence 1 January 2019, but Ms Aitchison said women have been left to ponder the financial and emotional cost to them as a consequence of this tax since the Howard Government’s implementation in 2000. At an estimated cost of $200 per year Ms Aitchison would like to see the exemption implemented immediately. Ms Aitchison is also calling for the GST to be lifted on breastfeeding aids.

A lot of time, money and frustration could have been saved if the NSW Governemnent had listened to the calls to scrap the ‘Tampon Tax’ instead of being one of the only states or territories not to support the removal up until now.

Ms Aitchison said it was past time for Governments to act to normalise and destigmatise women’s bodies and health issues.

Quotes attributable to Acting Shadow Minister for Women Jenny Aitchison

“Having a period is not a luxury. Removal of the GST recognises that women’s bodies are normal and should not be charged a tax to deal with their periods.

“The extent of this victory 18 years in the making will not be known until the list of items set to be exempt is finally published. Until then, the ‘Tampon Tax’ will still remain one of the greatest examples of sexism in the Australian taxation system.

“The inequities for women are still obvious as basic breastfeeding aids remain unfairly taxed while condoms and Viagra have been exempt all along.

“Now that the Liberal Government has realised their great mistake, action should be taken immediately to rectify it. It is unfair that women will have to wait further for this basic necessity to be treated equally.”

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