Every month Australian women are playing a game called ‘How to Make Your Tampon Last Longer Without Contracting TSS’ because the Federal Government refuses to abolish the 10 per cent ‘luxury’ tax on sanitary items.
(Rules of the game: Tampons are expensive. Use as sparingly as possible. Aim for optimum balance between tampons and pads to minimise money spent in store.)
All this could have changed yesterday when the Greens tried to amend government legislation. But no, tampons are still luxurious and Australian women are still paying extra to stem the flow.
The possible amendment was voted out of the senate, 33 to 15.
Mia Freedman sits down with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Post continues below.
The tax was first introduced in 2000 as part of the government’s 10 per cent goods and services tax (GST) on “non-essential” and “luxury” health items. Condoms once attracted the same tax. They don’t any more. So did lubricants, sunscreens, nicotine patches and incontinence pads. They don’t any more.
Yesterday, it was Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters who tried to remove the tax from sanitary items by amending new legislation that will see GST added to imported goods worth less than $1000.
Her attempt has been dubbed a “political stunt” and has been shut down by Labor and the Coalition because it would benefit “foreign retailers” instead of Australian businesses.
Senator Waters doesn’t agree: “The costings show the states will not be worse off,” she told The Sydney Morning Herald. “There is no revenue excuse to keep balancing the budget off the back of women’s biology.”
Bills and budgets and costings and political parties aside, it's been 17 years and WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS?
Guess what, dear Federal Government? Playing 'How to Make Your Tampon Last Longer Without Contracting TSS' isn't possible.
There is nothing 'non-essential' about those things that allow women to go to work and play sport and pick up children from school without leaving behind a trail of period blood once a month. Sanitary items are a basic human right.
Oh, and senators? If you've ever felt period blood leak through your tampon, realised it was the last one in the box, and scrambled through your purse for $7 before your white jeans are ruined for good, you'll also understand there's nothing luxurious about the whole ordeal.
Just get rid of it.