There's no GST on condoms and lubricant. So why is there one on tampons?

This is a bloody outrage (pun intended).


Hey women of Australia – did you know you pay 10% more on your tampons and pads than you probably should?

That’s right. Women in Ausralia pay a 10% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on these items because they are defined as a luxury – not as a health good.

This is mighty interesting considering that products like nicotine patches, sunscreen, incontinence pads, condoms and wait for, personal LUBRICANT are all exempt from the tax.

And just for the record, menstrual cups, a reusable alternative to tampons and pads is also taxed with the GST.

Student Subeta Vimalarajah recently recognised this blatant sexism and we’re so glad that she did.

Putting her words into action, she has now started a petition addressed to Joe Hockey himself, to remove the tampon tax in the upcoming review of the GST.

Subeta writes on her petition page, “Since 2000, the Australian Government has taxed every menstruating Australian 10% every time we get our period. It is estimated that our periods earn the government a whopping $25 million each year.”

“People who get periods don’t buy pads and tampons for pleasure, so why are we forced to fork out an extra 10% every 2, 3, 4 weeks? Taxing Australians for getting their period isn’t just sexist, it’s fundamentally unfair!”

We hear you.

And so does the rest of Australia. According to Buzzfeed News, the petition has over 3,000 signatures with some powerful (and hilarious) comments.


One supporter wrote, “I bleed and I vote.”

While another said, “Unwanted monthly subscription to Lucifer’s waterfall shouldn’t be taxed.”

When the GST was first introduced in 2000, the reasoning (if you can call it that) behind the tax was that health items, which prevent illnesses, such as condoms and nicotine patches, should be GST exempt. By this logic, tampons don’t prevent illness so they are classed as a luxury item.

John Howard, the Prime Minister of the time, was forced to defend this decision amid criticism from his own party and outrage from the opposition.

Speaking to the ABC he said, “I mean, of course if you look at tampons in isolation – just as you look at something else in isolation – you can mount an argument to take the tax off it.”

“I could mount an argument to take the tax off children’s clothes. I could mount an argument to take the tax off old people’s clothes; I could mount an argument for a whole lot of things.

Mr Howard, Mr Hockey, the fact of the matter is simple. Sanitary items are NOT a luxury. They are a right. And we will fight for it.

How much do you pay for tampons? Do you think they should be GST exempt?

Want more? Try:

What are tampons made of? And 3 other questions answered.

The great tampon debate

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