News National Canada repeals ‘tampon tax’

Canada repeals ‘tampon tax’

The decision to apply tax to hygiene products remains uncertain.
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A controversial proposal to scrap the ‘tampon tax’ which has divided the Coalition, has been passed in Canada.

The Canadian Federal Government confirmed it would stop taxing feminine hygiene products from July 1.

This comes as Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey and Prime Minster Tony Abbott remain at loggerheads about the issue.

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Mr Hockey was grilled on the ABC’s Q&A Program about the goods and services tax on feminine products last Monday, and said he would look into the costings.

On Tuesday, Mr Abbott appeared to brush aside his pledge to lobby for relief of the GST on the essential products.

“I understand that there has long been a push to take the GST off goods which are one way or another regarded as health products,” Mr Abbott said.

“It’s certainly not something that this government has a plan to do.”

But later on Tuesday the Treasurer reaffirmed his position in a statement emailed to journalists.

He said the Federal Government would look into whether the items should be GST-free, during the next State Treasurers’ meeting in July.

Any removal of the tax on tampons would need the support of the states, but is expected to sail through Federal Parliament as the Greens and Labor currently support lifting the tax.

Canadian New Democratic Party politician, Irene Mathyssen, who sponsored the successful private bill, said the outcome was a “victory for all women”, SBS reported.

“The women who made this an issue, their voices have finally been heard,” Ms Mathyssen said.

In 2014, the sanitary products earned the Canadian Government about $40,000 in tax revenue – with each item taxed at about five per cent.

The bill to scrap the ‘tampon tax’ came from a private members bill, and received all-party support.

Products including tampons, sanitary napkins and menstrual cups would be included in the tax exemption.

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