OPEN LETTER FROM YOUNG WOMEN ON AXING THE TAMPON TAX
"On top of often being paid less than their male counterparts, women are forced to pay each month for the sanitary products they need, but cannot always afford.
The very least the government can do is to #axethetax to ease the financial burden this places on women, particularly for those living on low income or experiencing homelessness or disadvantage." - Tilly, Young Women Speak Out
Let’s be clear: tampons and all menstrual products are ESSENTIAL. They’re a necessary health and hygiene item for anyone that menstruates.
There have been countless protests, petitions and hashtags against the tampon tax and we kindly ask you to now re-categorise all menstrual items (including sustainable options) as essential health products.
Tampons and menstrual cups are currently considered ‘other therapeutic goods’ and regulated under the Therapeutic Goods Act. It seems obvious that they should automatically be considered a health product. Even though menstrual pads are not defined as therapeutic goods, there is a direct comparator with incontinence pads, which are exempt from GST.
We want you to show that you’re committed to gender equality by lifting this unfair and sexist tax.
The Hon Greg Hunt, as Health Minister, we ask you to make a determination under section 38.47 of the GST Act to remove the tax on all menstrual products.
As you have said that all states and territories must agree for any GST change, we’re writing this open letter to all state and territory-level State Premiers and Treasurers to make sure everyone is on the same page. We ask Scott Morrison too, to take action, as the Federal Treasurer.
We recognise that the ACT, NT, WA, QLD and VIC Governments have already expressed their willingness to lift the tampon tax and we thank them for their support. We’re asking you as state and territory treasurers to please:
Write to the Federal Treasurer, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, to let the government know that this is an issue you want addressed and to formally ask for the removal of the GST from all menstrual products, this year and
Press for remaining states to join you
To NSW, SA and TAS, please reconsider your position. As alternative revenue sources have been identified, there do not seem to be any further valid reasons for retaining this deeply unfair tax.
“Everyone knows that menstruation is not a choice. It has been shown that the taxation of menstrual products is a public health issue that exacerbates debilitating effects on the marginalised. Not only is the tampon tax archaic, but by not having exemptions, is incredibly sexist. Menstruation is involuntary, taxation exploits that. We’ve petitioned, we’re writing, we’re tired, we care, #axethetax." - Kemiso, Jasiri Trailblazer Fellow, The Girls' Leadership Network Alumni Board
Our periods are not a ‘luxury,’ so please stop taxing them.
We look forward to hearing from you all!
On behalf of everyone that menstruates
We acknowledge the fierce advocacy from everyone who has previously protested against the tampon tax; with a special shout out to Sophie Lily’s petition 5 years ago, with over 72K signatures and Subeta Vimalarajah’s petition, 3 years ago with over 104K signatures.
Supported by: This letter adds young women’s voices to the Share the Dignity campaign, with over 120K petition signatories, and is endorsed by Founder Rochelle Courtenay.