The Labor Party has pledged to abolish the Goods and Services Tax on tampons if it wins the next election and instead raise extra money on alternative health treatments that are currently exempt from the GST.
The party has long argued that the tax on tampons should not have been applied in the first place, because sanitary products are a necessary for reproductive health and not a luxury item.
Opposition spokesperson for health Catherine King said tampons were a basic necessity for women.
“They cost women over $300 million each year, $30 million is GST,” Ms King said.
“It is well and truly time this tax on women was axed.”
The ALP’s new policy is to make up for any shortfall to revenue by introducing the GST to a group of alternative medicines that were recently excluded from private health insurance rebates as they were not endorsed by the chief medical officer.
“What we have proposed is that the offset loss to the states on pads and tampons would be by applied to twelve natural therapies that are sometimes exempt to the GST such as herbalism and naturopathy,” Ms King said.
“This actually gives you the money to be able to replace that.”
Ms King urged the Treasurer to pinch Labor’s policy and announce it next month’s budget. Otherwise the party will lobby the states and territories to adopt the policy reform if it wins the next election.
Former treasurer Joe Hockey famously pledged to abolish the tax on tampons when he was approached by university student on an episode of Q&A in 2015.
Then-prime minister Tony Abbott quickly slapped down the suggestion and remained unimpressed when asked again about the policy in March.
“Look, once you start having these sorts of exemptions, where does it end? Where does it end?” Mr Abbott told radio station 2GB.
“We have to broaden the tax base, not start carving out politically correct exceptions.”