Australia Ditches 'Tampon Tax' After 18 Years of Outrage From Women's Rights Groups
Australia will get rid of a divisive tax on tampons after state governments bowed to concerted pressure from Canberra and womenâs rights groups.
State treasurers in Australia agreed Wednesday to annul a 10% goods and services tax (GST) on tampons and other feminine hygiene products starting January 2019, Australiaâs ABC News reports. The decision followed a nearly two decade-long campaign by gender rights activists, who argued that the tax was discriminatory.
âWeâre really delighted that everyoneâs come on board to scrap what is an unfair tax,â Australiaâs Minister for Women Kelly OâDwyer said. âMillions of women right across the nation will be very thankful for it.â
âCommon sense has prevailed,â added Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, calling the repeal âlong overdue.â
Tampons, pads and other feminine hygiene products were previously categorized as non-essential items and have been subject to the GST since 2000. But activists argued that the classification was sexist, pointing out that items like condoms, lubricant and male sexual enhancement medications were exempt.
Both sides of Australiaâs national politics came together against the tariff this year, with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledging to repeal the tax in August when he was federal treasurer. The opposition Labor party called for its reversal in March.
But Australia âs states and federal territories opposed scrapping the tax, which contributes an estimated A$30m ($21 million) in annual revenue, according to the BBC. In 2015, the states and territories voted to uphold the tax.
Read more: Tampon Tax Ends in States After âYear of the Periodâ
The announcement comes as other countries have also jettisoned âtampon taxes.â Most recently, India scrapped its 12% levy in July.
Nine U.S. states exempt feminine sanitary products from sales tax, with similar legislation pending in seven others, according to NPR. But repeated efforts to repeal the tax in California have failed, mostly recent in January this year.Source: Google Australia | Netizen 24 Australia