The Great Tampon Tax

It’s back in the news again, thanks to a Greens-backed attempt to get the GST stripped from its cost base.

I’m talking about tampons, of course, (what else?!) and The Great Tampon Tax that continues to plague modern women.

For those who aren’t in the know, tampons are currently taxed at a rate of 10% GST in this country.


Generally, GST only applies to “luxury items” and not to essentials, which is why many people are up in arms that tampons still attract this tax.

Condoms are exempt. So is lube. Even incontinence pads (which some could argue, are the same as menstrual pads?) are GST-free.

But tampons and pads are not an essential, according to the government, so they still get slugged with a 10% premium.

Carrie Bickmore was all fired up on The Project last week, calling for politicians to “get it done!”

And I get it. I do! I believe it’s unfair. However…

Though I completely agree that tampons should not be taxed (they are definitely an essential item).

And whilst I can thoroughly attest to the fact that they are most certainly not a “luxury”….

I don’t understand the ongoing campaigning and rage about this.

We’re talking about a tiny amount of money here – a matter of cents, per month.

I very much believe that this tax needs to be removed, but I’m not losing any sleep over it. Women spend around $5 a month on these essentials; if the tax is removed, we might save around $5-6 per year.

Not even enough for two cups of coffee. Not even enough for a package of 2-minute noodles!

And those savings will only be up for grabs if the tampon companies even past the savings on?

Just do what I do – but the brand that is on sale for the month.

There are so many things that make me furious at the injustice of it all – things like people sleeping on the streets, children being abused, and families who can’t afford to feed their kids.

But getting my knickers in a twist about the Great Tampon Tax? I think I’ll save my energy.