Tony Abbott distances himself from plans to scrap tampon tax in Australia

Treasurer Joe Hockey says he will lobby to remove the consumption tax in his next meeting with state treasurers

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The Independent Online

Tony Abbott has distanced himself from comments made by one of his own ministers in which he agreed the tampon tax should be scrapped in Australia. 

"I understand there's long been a push to take the GST off goods, which are one way or another regarded as health products," Mr Abbott said. "It's certainly not something that this Government has a plan to do."

The reaction comes after Treasurer Joe Hockey vowed to lobby state and territory governments to remove the consumption tax on tampons and said he would raise the issue in his next meeting with state treasurers in July.

 

Sanitary pads and tampons currently attract the 10% Goods and Services tax in Australia, whereas condoms and sunscreen do not.

Mr Hockey’s pledge comes after a Sydney university student, Subeta Vimalarajah, started an online petition addressed to Mr Hockey against the tax on a "bodily function."

The petition argues against the tax and the current categorisation of sanitary products as not “necessary” enough to be GST-free.

"On the other hand, condoms, lubricants, sunscreen and nicotine patches are all tax-free because they are classed as important health goods, but isn't the reproductive health and hygiene of 10 million Australians important too?" the petition says.

The petition currently has around 94,000 signatures.

"Do I think sanitary products are essential? I think so, I think so," Mr Hockey said on ABC TV on Monday night, and said the tax "probably should" be taken off.

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