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The NO GST on Menstrual products Page

You may be aware that the Australian Government is introducing a goods and services tax. As part of the tax package, health products such as iron tablets and sunscreens will be GST free. However, the Government has decided that women's hygiene items such as tampons and pads will be taxed with the GST.

When asked about this, the Minister for Health, Michael Wooldridge stated that he used shaving cream and he didn't expect them to be GST free, so why should feminine hygiene products be GST free? (more on that interview)

Call me crazy but I can't help feeling that growing a beard does not have the same health risks as not using sanitary products. Oh, and he also said that only products that were considered necessary for health reasons would be GST free.

Strangely, Viagra is GST free, but tampons are not. Michael Wooldridge doesn't seem to consider that menstrual blood could pose a health risk - has he never heard of Aids? Nor does the risk of toxic shock syndrome seem to bother him.

Women who suffer from Menorrhagia will suffer particularly, as their heavy andpainful menstruation period may mean they use 3 - 4 times as much hygiene products.

What can you do to state your opposition to this unfair tax?

  • Write to Michael Wooldridge and tell him what you think!
  • Participate in the National Day of Action (25 Feb)
  • Write to local members of Parliament
    • Here is the letter I received from Senator Faulker of the ALP in response to the electronic petition I signed.

 

National Day of Action on 25 Feb.

Wear white on 25 February - with a red ribbon or flower - to proclaim your stance.... "no GST on menstruation essentials"

Why have a colour-code for Feb 25? So ALL Australian women can take part, wherever they may be. Not everyone can be "there on the day" , not everyone can take the time to write to MPs, or make marches or rallies etc. But many women have expressed the wish to be 'included' and have some mechanism of showing their support for those who can be 'front-liners' , so to speak.

This idea originated from senior high-school girls, with the support of many women teachers - as a 'no-uniform day', for girls to wear white or pale pastel coloured clothing to school, and wearing symbolic red ribbons, roses, violets, carnations etc with or without slogans. The idea then spread to include all those other women, and men supporters, who can't join in on the day.

The Suffragettes used a colour-code of Green-White-Violet as an acronym for Give Women the Vote, as a means for all the 'silent supporters' of women's suffrage, and showed their support by wearing green-white-violet clothing or slogan buttons, sashes, bandannas etc.

Other suggestions for use of the colour code:

white sashes, bandannas, togas, saris, (using bolts of white continuous curtain fabrics for example) red& White crepe paper, or gauze fabric, for corsages, buttonholes etc any combination of appropriately coloured flowers, or ribbons, against a white background

There were a number of more 'adventurous' suggestions:) but.. at this stage - its a start to 'spread the word' about the colour-code to reach as many women as possible, and perhaps start thinking how you might like to incorporate the colour-code into your own local actions and events.

 

(Somehow, resist the temptation to send your dirty washing to Michael Wooldridge, c/o Parliament House, Canberra ACT Australia)

Here is a letter I received from Senator John Faulkner of the Australian Labor Party:

Thank you for signing the petition to exempt sanitary products from the GST. We in the Labor Party agree that such products are health items.

I have received petitions containing more than 9000 signatures during the past fortnight, and many more are arriving hourly. I will move to table these petitions in the Senate when it resumes in February.

In the meantime may I suggest that, if you have not already done so, you send a personal e-mail to Health Minister, Dr Michael Wooldridge, asking that he classify sanitary products such as tampons and pads as health products. His e-mail address is Michael.Wooldridge.MP@aph.gov.au

To exempt sanitary products from the GST, the Minister for Health must determine that these products have a public health benefit. This is the mechanism he used to exempt sunscreen, folate tablets, condoms and personal lubricants. He should also place feminine sanitary products on the list.

The Government promised that health products would not be subject to the GST. They must keep this promise.

Yours sincerely

Senator John Faulkner
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

The following should not in any way be construed as medical advice, and is provided for information only:

Toxic shock syndrome is a type of blood poisoning which can make you very ill. There are about 40 cases a year in the UK and some of those people will die. Half the reported cases of TSS in the UK are associated with women using tampons - Research suggests that for cases which occur in women using tampons, tampon absorbency is a factor. For this reason it is important that you: always use a tampon with the lowest absorbancy suitable for your period flow use a sanitary towel or panty liner from time to time during your period.

The risk that the GST brings is that women may not change tampons as frequently, to minimise the cost.

Toxic Shock Syndrome Information Service (UK)

A fact sheet from the US

Info from OnHealth

The following should not in any way be construed as medical advice, and is provided for information only:

Menorrhagia results in exceptionally long and heavy periods, which can be severely debilitating because, in addition to the general distress and inconvenience which heavy bleeding causes, the blood loss often leads to iron deficiency anaemia. Recent studies by the World Health Organisation have revealed that 18 million menstruating women age 30 to 55 who live in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan perceive their menstrual bleeding to be excessive. Further, of over 600,000 hysterectomies performed each year in the United States alone, approximately 30% are performed specifically to relieve excessive menstrual bleeding.

For more info on Menorrhagia

There is some interesting info on the Microsulis page

A Lycos feature link page on Menorrhagia

 

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This web page created and maintained by Kiriel