The “stop taxing my period” petition – which launched last year – gained a huge amount of support with over 90,000 signatures within the first few weeks to stop the tax on tampons.
The petition flooded mainstream and social media and urged the Australian Government to get rid of the 10% tax attached to sanitary products.
The tax rendered much fury in Australia as sanitary products are classified as non-essential items, even though condoms and sunscreen are deemed as essentials and continue to be GST free.
Despite the popularity of the petition and the treasurer at the time, Joe Hockey, even stating that the tax “probably should” be lifted, the GST was not removed. Then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott stated that Government “cannot change the GST without the states and territories’ involvement”.
However, the outrage isn’t confined to Australia, with five New York women recently filing a lawsuit seeking to not only remove the tax but demanding a refund to approximately 5 million women who have been affected.
The lawsuit outlines the high cost of sanitary products with the tax alone amounting to $US14 million for a single year in just one state, New York.
It also describes the infection and disease risks – including cervical cancer – that women face from impeded access to sanitary products that the 4% tax causes.
The five lead plaintiffs hope that the removal of the tax in New York will encourage a change across the USA.
Who knows, it may also influence down-under authorities to finally follow suit.