Protest fights tampon tax with puns
When the GST was introduced back in at the turn of the millennium, all the essentials were excepted: basic food, water, education, childcare and healthcare.
What is missing from that list is something considered essential by, oh, half of the population – tampons.
Now an online petition started by a Perth university student has almost 40,000 people supporting its plea for sanitary items to be exempt from tax.
Sophie Liley, from the Women’s Department of the University of Western Australia’s student guild, wrote in the petition that “there’s no womb in society for a tampon tax”, and that the tax was “cramping my style”. She describes the tax as “a bleeding disgrace”, “a bloody outrage” and “ridiculous. Period.” Indeed.
On a more serious note, she wrote a letter addressed to Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott and other politicians protesting the compromise of women’s economic rights.
"Charging women as a direct result of their basic biology is hugely and fundamentally sexist - especially given that condoms are classified as GST-free essential health products while sanitary items are not," the letter stated.
Aunty Flo (God love ‘er) costs a woman over a thousand dollars in her lifetime – a burden made greater by the fact that women earn less, on average, than men.
In Western Australia, women earn $469 less per week than men, a difference of $24,393 each year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Liley’s letter continues, "I ask as an Australian, and a voter, that you use your considerable influence, along with that of your colleagues, to make lasting, positive change for the women of Australia, and have tampons (and all other sanitary products) placed on the list of GST-free essential health products."
Richard Choong, the WA president of the Australian Medical Association, told Daily Life that to consider a society without essentials like sanitary products would be to “go back to the dark ages.”
“To consider something a luxury, there has to be a more basic alternative; there is none in this case,” he said, “So I'm very happy to say that women's sanitary products are not a luxury items and should not have GST paid on them."
But there has been no word from the government, nor the opposition, on whether the situation will change.
The petition calls for us to “pull the plug” on a tax that is ultimately, “a stain on our national image”. Bloody oath.
via Daily Life