Scott Morrison pledges to scrap tampon tax at next meeting with state treasurers | Australia news

Scrapping the tax on tampons and sanitary pads is in the Coalition’s sights after the treasurer, Scott Morrison, pledged to exempt the items from the GST.

The Courier-Mail reported on Saturday that Morrison would seek to move female sanitary items to the essential health items exempted from the GST at his next meeting with state treasurers.

“I can see it is a source of frustration and angst,” Morrison said.

“I think it’s an anomaly that has been built into the system for a long time and the states have decided to hold on to the money instead of getting rid of it.”

The move comes after years of lobbying for change from advocates who point to the unfairness in items such as condoms and lubricants already being exempt.

But the exemption requires the sign-off of states and territories to come into effect.

A 2015 push to axe the tax by the then treasurer Joe Hockey was knocked back by state treasurers reluctant to sacrifice the $30m in revenue it produced.

Morrison said the the 10% tax should never have been levied on tampons and sanitary pads in the first place.

“I’m happy to see this remedied and it shouldn’t be consuming an enormous amount of time, it’s a fairly straightforward decision to make,” he said.

“There’s no great gender conspiracy here or any of that nonsense,” Morrison said in a Facebook post on Saturday.

“It’s just a tax anomaly that we have already tried to fix once, and will now give it another try.”

His decision comes three months after the opposition made a similar pledge.

“This is effectively a tax on women,” the deputy leader of the opposition, Tanya Plibersek, had said this year.

“Taxing periods is taxing women in a way that men never experience.”

“Australia levies GST on tampons but we don’t apply it to Viagra,” she had told the National Press Club in March. “Only a bunch of blokes sitting around a table would come to the conclusion that sanitary pads are anything other than an essential good.

“This was a dumb decision when it was made in 1999.”

The former prime minister Tony Abbott had told 2GB Radio that Plibersek’s position – and that of his Hockey – were both wrong. “Once you start having these sorts of exemptions – where does it end?”

At the time, Morrison had described Labor’s announcement as “cynical exercises”.

While welcoming the government’s move, Labor warned that it risked failure if there was no plan to replace the lost revenue in order to win over the states.

Labor leaders in every state and territory have signed up to the opposition’s plan, seeking to offset lost revenue by applying the GST to 12 natural therapies.

But the government claims the states will receive an extra $6.5bn in revenue as a result of changes already made to the GST.

“So agreeing to this modest change is achievable from a financial point of view,” Morrison said.

The minister for women, Kelly O’Dwyer, called for the states and territories to get on board.

“Millions of Australian women will benefit,” she told reporters in Sydney.

“It will mean a little bit of extra money in their pocket but ultimately it’s the right and fair thing to do.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *