Yesterday NSW Labour announced a new push to remove the tax on tampons and pads. The Facebook post promises a Shorten Labor government will remove the unfair tax, and linked to a petition you can sign today.

On the Labor site, the petition page also pushes the current NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian to stop the tax. “A Shorten Labor Government will remove the GST from female sanitary items. Its time for Gladys Berejiklian and the Liberals to do the same.”

You can sign the petition here.

A full media release followed including the statement “This is a tax on women.” – which is not specifically true as Sally Rugg pointed out. Outside of this lack on inclusivity however, Labor does have a point.

Australia spends $300 million a year on tampons, pads, and other sanitary products. $30 million of that comes from the tax on these products. For some reason sanitary products for people who menstruate are still not considered a necessity.

If Viagra and nicotine patches are considered necessity, how is it that tampons and pads aren’t? They are not a luxury item but necessary for health and hygiene.

Where will the new revenue come from?

In their press release, Labour detailed a plan to replace the hole in tax revenue if these taxes are removed. They plan to add a tax to 12 natural therapies that are typically untaxed, but have no clinical evidence of being successful.  “At a time when government budgets are tight, the GST health exemption should only cover items with proven clinical effectiveness.”

Deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek also appeared on The Project to promote the new campaign. On the show she reconfirmed that the tax’s would be moved to natural therapies with little clinical evidence of success.

Whilst the tax should’ve been removed a long time ago, Labor’s commitment to the campaign is a great start to seeing the tax abolished.

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