Tampon tax will remain after Senate vote

In a blow for all the women out there who have to buy sanitary items like tampons and pads, the Senate has refused a request from the Greens to remove the GST from these products.

The Greens decided to mount a fight against the ‘tampon  tax’, which sees these and other feminine hygiene products taxed when some other medical necessities are not.

Even worse, the charge is labelled a ‘luxury tax’, with many women arguing getting a period each month is not a luxury.


Introduced by the Howard Government in 2000, the GST slapped a 10 per cent levy on all goods and services.  Sanitary items like Tampons and pads were classified by the then Health Minister as ‘personal hygiene products’  rather than health goods, so were not exempt.

On Monday The Australian reported that the Senate had voted down the Greens attempt to remove the GST from tampon and sanitary pad sales 33 votes to 15.

The upper house has been debating laws allowing GST to be collected on imported goods worth less than $1000, raising $300 million over three years.

Greens senator Larissa Waters had previously said that that revenue would more than cover the shortfall if the GST is removed from pads and tampons.