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Finally! Australia Has Abolished The Tampon Tax

It only took 18 years…

After lagging behind the US, Canada and even Kenya, the Australian government has finally admitted that actually, tampons aren’t ‘luxury items’ (who would have thought?), and no, women shouldn’t be taxed for a basic biological function over which they have no control.

State and territory treasurers unanimously agreed to pass the Federal Government’s proposal to make sanitary products exempt from GST yesterday, the ABC reports, after an 18-year campaign that kicked off when GST was first introduced.

Tampons, pads, menstrual cups, maternity pads and leak-proof underwear are all expected to be included in the revised exemption list, which will come into effect by January 1, 2019.

They’ll join other health items like condoms and Viagra, which have always been exempt (and people wonder why we need more women in government).

As The Guardian reports, when the tampon tax first came into effect with the advent of GST in 2000, the then health minister, Michael Wooldridge, explained that they didn’t “prevent illness” and therefore weren’t exempt.

“As a bloke, I’d like shaving cream exempt but I’m not expecting it to be,” he told the ABC. “Condoms prevent illness. I wasn’t aware that menstruation was an illness.”

And women everywhere rolled their eyes.

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