Australian treasurers want tampon tax axed

Sanitary products in the supermarket Image copyright ALAMY
Image caption GST on sanitary products is an unfair tax, say state treasurers

Australia's state Labor treasurers have united in their stance against a controversial tampon tax.

Unlike products such as condoms and sunscreen, female sanitary products attract a 10% Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The tax hit headlines in May when an online petition calling for the removal of the tax attracted 90,000 signatures.

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey then asked state and territory governments to remove the tax.

The Labor treasurers of Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory said in a statement on Friday they would seek to have the tax removed at a meeting of federal and state treasurers, next week.

"Once the proposal receives the unanimous support of the states and territories, the federal health minister can declare by determination, the supply of a good to be GST-free," they said.

They said the lost revenue of about A$30m ($22m; £14m ) could be recouped from other reforms such applying the GST to digital downloads and overseas products bought online.

Australia's tampon tax

  • Consumers pay GST of 10% on everything, except certain "essential" items.
  • In May, Treasurer Joe Hockey said he believed sanitary products should be classified as essential goods.
  • Mr Abbott says federal government cannot change the GST without the support of states and territories, though some legal experts have disputed this.

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