Labor has promised to axe the so-called tampon tax if it wins government, saying it has found a way to get states and territories on board.
The $30 million lost every year would be recouped by applying the 10 per cent GST to a dozen natural therapies such as herbalism and naturopathy.
“There’s no excuse now for the states and territories to refuse to make this important change,” deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.
She acknowledged there had already been several attempts to remove the tax from women’s sanitary products over the years, including by Liberal treasurer Joe Hockey in 2015, but “interference” from the states had made it “impossible”.
“The difference this time is we’ve identified an alternative source of funding for the states that leaves them slightly better off over the decade,” Ms Plibersek said.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the government already had the policy in place, but it was the states and territories – which must all agree to changes to the GST – that had stopped the change.
“There is no agreement for the states and territories on this issue,” she told the Nine Network.
Australian women spend around $300 million on sanitary products each year with each item attracting the 10 per cent GST because they are not considered necessities, according to the federal opposition.