Federal politicians are constantly making noise about axing the controversial tampon tax – as recently as this June, a Greens bill to abolish it successfully passed the upper house – but they can’t do anything without the approval of the states, so you may want to take this with a grain of salt.
That said, in an interview with this weekend’s Saturday Telegraph, federal treasurer Scott Morrison announced that the government will move ahead with a new plan to get rid of the 10 percent GST on tampons and sanitary pads. He said of the tampon tax:
“I can see it is a source of frustration and angst. Here’s a straightforward practical opportunity to deal with it once and for all. I think it’s an anomaly that has been built into the system for a long time and the states have decided to hold onto the money instead of getting rid of it.”
As it stands, states and territory treasurers will need to sign off on any plan to remove GST on sanitary items. They had the opportunity to do so in 2015, after a push by then-treasurer Joe Hockey, but declined to do so, refusing to give up an annual $30 million in tax revenue.
Three years ago Joe Hockey asked State and Territory Treasurers to remove the GST from sanitary products. They didn’t agree. We have decided to give this another go so in June I wrote to them to ask them again. This time, I hope they agree.
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) August 4, 2018
Morrison has urged state treasurers to sign off on his new plan at their next annual meeting, which is to be held in September or October. He told them to “leave their manifestos at the door and deal with it practically”, adding:
“I’m happy to see this remedied and it shouldn’t be consuming an enormous amount of time, it’s a fairly straightforward decision to make.”
It is unclear where or how Morrison’s plan will make up for the lost revenue, but if state and territory leaders can be convinced, the GST on feminine hygiene products can formally be removed.Source: 9 News
Image: AAP / Alex Bainbridge