real life

Dear Govt: tampons are not a luxury item.

Coles supermarkets have announced they're cutting the price of pads and tampons by 10% to off set the GST placed on them by the federal government. It's a smart campaign that's going under the banner:
"You shouldn't be taxed for being a woman", is expected to save us about $6.5 million a year.
According to the Herald Sun:

It follows market research in which almost three in four female customers said the tax was unfair.Women's Electoral Lobby national chair Eva Cox said female sanitary items were essential health products……

……that should never have been slapped with the GST.

"It's not applied to fresh food or pharmaceuticals. It's making money out of the monthly," Ms Cox said.

Coles marketing director Joe Blundell said the GST slug on feminine hygiene products should be reviewed: "We've acted on our customers' concerns and so we've made an ongoing commitment to reduce the price of all feminine hygiene products sold in our stores by about 10 per cent, effectively removing the cost burden of the GST from our customers."

The Howard government sparked outrage and claims of sexual discrimination by including the GST on the products when the tax was introduced in July 2000. Then health minister Dr Michael Wooldridge clashed with furious women's groups, declaring tampons and pads were just like shaving cream and should be hit with the GST.

The Government rakes in about $25 million a year from GST on female hygiene products. Labor is not reviewing the charge despite protesting against it when in opposition.

Assistant Treasurer Senator Nick Sherry's spokeswoman said: "The parameters of the GST were set following extensive community debate."The Government has made a public commitment not to change the current GST arrangements."

Coles spokesman Jim Cooper said prices had been cut for more than 100 products, with savings ranging from 30c to 70c.

So what do you think? Did you even know there was a tax on your tampons? Is this a cynical marketing exercise by Coles or a valauble contribution to a debate we've been distracted from for a decade? And will this change where you buy your feminine hygiene products (and how much do you hate that term…..)?