BREAKING NEWS Five new Covid-19 cases reported in Shasta County Saturday Full Story
BREAKING NEWS Mission Fire burns structure in Tehama County Full Story

Australia scraps controversial tampon tax

Australia is to scrap a controversial tampon tax bringing an end to an 18-year campaign to make feminine san...

Posted: Oct 3, 2018 9:19 AM
Updated: Oct 3, 2018 9:19 AM

Australia is to scrap a controversial tampon tax bringing an end to an 18-year campaign to make feminine sanitary products exempt from a nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The move follows a landmark vote in the country's Senate to remove the 10% tax on tampons and pads, items previously marked "non-essential" despite being required by most women on a monthly basis.

Australia

Continents and regions

Government and public administration

Oceania

Political platforms and issues

Politics

Public finance

Tax cuts

Taxes and taxation

On Wednesday, lawmakers from each state and territory unanimously agreed to adopt federal proposals in a move supported by both major political parties.

Though the details have yet to be finalized, the ABC reports that products expected to be exempted under the new legislation include tampons, pads, menstrual cups, maternity pads and leak-proof underwear.

"We think this is an unfair tax. We think it should be scrapped," Minister for Women Kelly O'Dwyer told CNN affiliate Channel 7 earlier Wednesday. "Millions of Australian women will benefit."

When sanitary pads are a luxury

Years of protest

The taxing of feminine hygiene products has been a source of outrage since the introduction of the GST in 2000, with opponents labeling the price hike as discriminatory and unfair.

During the launch of the GST, then health minister, Michael Wooldridge defended the decision to include tampons on the list of taxable items arguing that they didn't prevent illness.

"As a bloke, I'd like shaving cream exempt but I'm not expecting it to be," he told the ABC in 2000, adding that, "condoms prevent illness. I wasn't aware that menstruation was an illness."

Currently, condoms and lubricant are both exempt on health grounds.

Protests against the tax have gained momentum in recent years, with an array of high profile voices on both sides of the political spectrum calling for tampons to be dropped from the list.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the new move as "a bit of common sense."

"It had always been our view that we wanted to see it changed," reported the ABC.

Opinion: It's time for women and girls to speak about their periods

Though both of the country's major parties have adopted policies in support of reforming the tax code to exempt sanitary products, the bill was proposed and passed by Greens senator Janet Rice, who argued the tax was tantamount to a tax on women.

"Sanitary products are essential for millions of Australians to maintain health and hygiene connected with the cycle of menstruation," said Rice during a second Senate reading of the bill in May this year.

"If it were cisgender men who required sanitary products in relation to a natural function of their bodies every month, it is unlikely that the GST would have been added in the same manner. The current Act amounts to a tax on the biology of people who menstruate and it never should have existed in the first place."

Interactive: Period poverty calculator

Critics of a change in the law have pointed to a potential shortfall in state, territory and federal budgets. The ABC reports that the move will likely cost the states $21 million (A$30 million) a year in lost revenue.

In July, the government unveiled a major reform to the GST formula, in which an additional $6.4 billion (A$9 billion) in federal money would be made available over a period of 10 years, in an effort to ensure no state falls below a fixed benchmark.

The GST is based on a centralized revenue sharing model that sees wealthy states like Victoria support poorer states like Tasmania.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 318761

Reported Deaths: 7027
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1303943795
Riverside24765537
Orange23901421
San Diego19371422
San Bernardino18912304
Fresno790687
Imperial7827135
Alameda7725148
Kern633997
San Joaquin627968
Santa Clara5983166
Tulare5678152
Sacramento533981
Stanislaus463351
Contra Costa460589
San Francisco442650
Ventura424653
San Mateo3949112
Santa Barbara393131
Marin343430
Kings289839
Monterey254018
Solano207528
Merced188412
Sonoma165014
Placer105511
San Luis Obispo9054
Madera8938
Yolo83928
Santa Cruz5683
Napa4774
Sutter3724
Butte3384
San Benito3362
El Dorado3070
Lassen2750
Shasta1876
Yuba1803
Humboldt1654
Glenn1640
Nevada1631
Colusa1130
Mendocino1130
Lake1081
Tehama1041
Calaveras670
Tuolumne640
Del Norte600
Mono501
Siskiyou410
Amador400
Inyo341
Mariposa311
Plumas170
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
95° wxIcon
Hi: 104° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 95°
Oroville
Clear
93° wxIcon
Hi: 105° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 93°
Paradise
Clear
95° wxIcon
Hi: 97° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 95°
Chester
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 83°
Red Bluff
Clear
97° wxIcon
Hi: 105° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 97°
Willows
Clear
95° wxIcon
Hi: 107° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 95°
There is a Red Flag Warning in Modoc county today and tomorrow with temperatures getting as hot as 110 degrees for some in the Valley by Wednesday.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events