GST Idiocy: Just Shut Up About Tax On Tampons

THE RIDICULOUS, emptily populist campaign to have female sanitary items exempted from the GST is two things: a proposed act of sabotage on a tax that already exempts more than it covers, and a perverse attempt to reverse-engineer “misogyny”where none exists from the Prime Minister and his government. Instead of increasing exemptions, the GST should be increased. GST on tampons is minimal. Those seeking its removal should be quiet.

Yes, I have missed posting over the weekend: partly due to a day in the kitchen on Saturday, and partly due to an ISP issue that apparently knocked out my provider right up the eastern seaboard yesterday; we have missed (for now) at least one of the issues I was aiming to discuss — the Borbidge/Sheldon report into the LNP’s election loss in Queensland in January — and if we can return to it in the next day or two we will (notwithstanding the fact the ABC’s weekly diatribe of Leftist garbage, #QandA, is on this evening).

But speaking of #QandA, an issue that has blown up into an ugly fracas over the past week, since Treasurer Joe Hockey foolishly failed to shut it down the moment it was raised on that “august” programme, is the silliness about GST on feminine hygiene products and the “campaign” by the wimmin’s movement to have it abolished: and in the process, an attempt to hoist the government on the petard of misogyny that was so obvious from the outset that Hockey’s failure to recognise it defies all belief.

There has been a lot of good arguments raised against this ridiculous measure during the week that has ensured — an excellent, and representative, example of these can be accessed here — but I am unrepentant that not only should the proposed “initiative” be simply ignored, but that GST should be extended to all the exempt items cited by the tampon activists in addition to being left unchanged on those goods and services it already covers.

Depending on whose maths you use, GST on tampons represents the princely impost on the average woman of between six and ten dollars per year, and frankly, if we’re going to have vicious political brawls over such a piddling amount of money, it speaks volumes about the degree of mental fortitude (or lack of it) among those agitating for its abolition.

It is also an insult to the intelligence of those who are supposed to be impressed by it and/or motivated to remove it.

And it does not matter what Canada has done; this country is not Canada, is not governed by Stephen Harper, does not share the economic fundamentals or outlook of that lovely country, and — despite the international comparisons so beloved of the Australian Left as justifications for their idiotic fancies — Canada does not matter a can of beans in the context of the tampon “debate.”

The federal budget is already haemorrhaging, in round terms, a billion dollars every week; part of this is directly attributable to the criminal injury inflicted on the national finances when Labor last got its paws on them, and most of the rest is directly attributable to the budget sabotage strategy Labor has pursued in the Senate (in cahoots with the Communist Party Greens, whose activists are at the forefront of the tampon campaign) through which its “leader” has sought to glean popularity and electoral fortune by way of a strategy predicated on the prevention of sound monetary management.

And if this were not enough, Labor under Shorten, the Greens, and the rest of the left-wing lunatics given media exposure that transcends both the relevance of their ideas and their popular support, have seen to it that any genuine attempt to fix the inadequacies of the present GST regime is all but politically lethal.

The simple fact is that as things stand, the “universal” consumption tax that 15 years ago replaced the archaic Wholesale Sales Tax regime covers only 48% of all goods and services produced and sold in Australia; at a time the budget is oozing red ink in ten figure amounts every week, there is no rational case to add to these exemptions.

In fact, the GST should and must be extended, and even increased; and in direct response to the tampon brigade, if condoms and lubricant and other items on their outrage catalogue are indeed exempt from GST as they state, then it’s time to extend the tax to cover them.

A $5 packet of six condoms, for example, would attract 50 cents in GST — or less than nine cents per condom — and I am equally as cavalier about inflicting this cost (on men, no less) than I am that the impost on tampons should also be maintained.

At the risk of being risqué, nine cents hardly makes horizontal recreation an expensive pastime, to be sure.  🙂

In fact, the GST should apply to everything except actual healthcare (you know, doctor’s fees and the like), actual monies transacted in the financial system (the dollars you owe on your loan, for instance) and perhaps education; and as readers know I have long believed, the rate should be doubled to enable steep increases in (legitimate) social security payments, as well as cuts to PAYE income tax scales and company taxation rates.

The GST — even levied on an incomplete and inadequate base as ours is — is nonetheless a growth tax; that is, receipts from it will increase every year. By contrast, PAYE tax is a shrinking base, and the effect of maintaining the status quo in this regard is that a diminishing number of us who pay tax fund an ever-increasing burden of largesse for those who don’t. This is clearly unsustainable.

On the other hand, by levelling a nominal impost on all goods and services, everyone contributes to the GST take: and with that pool of funds increasing each year, such an arrangement places the country’s finances on a firmer — and far more sustainable — footing.

It is on this point that Hockey deserves to be pilloried: apparently unable to stand up to a militant feminist onslaught on a silly left-wing propaganda programme over a couple of cents at a time, the Treasurer has seen to it that this ridiculous piece of attempted economic savagery remains firmly on the table when it should have been pushed off it and into the garbage can.

But then again, so sensitive is this government to the manufactured “misogyny” ruse that has been unfairly and wrongly used to smear the Prime Minister, perhaps Hockey judged capitulation to be the lesser of two evils.

Either way, it raises fresh questions about his suitability to remain in his present role and again, whilst I like Joe — you couldn’t not like Joe — I think his, and the government’s, interests would be best served by reshuffling him into another job, and giving Treasury to Malcolm Turnbull or Scott Morrison.

At the end of the day, however — and excuse my language — those responsible for this revisitation of Kim Beazley’s GST “rollback” campaign should be told, in short, to tell their fucking stories walking.

One of the more minor issues that cruelled Beazley’s second attempt to win office in 2001 was the eleventh-hour admission that “rollback” amounted to little more than an attempt to remove tampons from the GST net, and the matter is as insignificant in the big scheme of things now as it was then.

Those who advocate doing so now, for no better reason than trying yet again to skewer Tony Abbott on a jumped-up charge of “misogyny,” should shut the hell up: and if they are unable to produce alternative plans in detail as to how the great big bleeding black hole Labor left at the epicentre of the national budget might be repaired, then their “ideas” on matters pertaining to taxation and revenue should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve.

 

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11 thoughts on “GST Idiocy: Just Shut Up About Tax On Tampons

  1. Surely the concept of a nation wide consumption tax shared unequally among the states is the root of this idiotic debate.
    Should each state determine its own rules, and levy a consumption tax appropriately, and devour the spoils (ANY tax after all is nothing but extortion) to its liking.
    I know.
    That would likely mean that WA would have no GST, Queensland would have one at 2%, NSW would have one at ten percent on 50% of the goods, Vic would have ten percent on everything, and SA and Tas would have 25% on everything. And the luvvies would moan that this is not “fair”.
    Life is not “fair”. However, along with liberty goes responsibility and accountability, and the scheme I just mentioned might help persuade the populace that crime doesn’t pay and socialism doesn’t work.
    How did Australia end up with this asinine VAT scheme in the first place?

  2. Unbelievable. If it isn’t gay marriage, its a tampon tax. I’m prepared for Hockey to stay in his job as long as he has his vocal cords removed.

  3. You have missed the point of those asking for the GST to be removed from female sanitary items. It’s not about the cost, it’s about the principle. Because of that, the GST SHOULD be changed, no matter how stupid that seems in the scheme of things. I have plenty of issues with GST reform but this is a bigger issue than that: Why should women pay a tax that men don’t have to pay? To pay a tax that they physically cannot avoid for 30-40 years of their life? Would you prefer women not use sanitary products? Would you prefer the significant cleaning costs that would be need to be spent if women stopped using sanitary products since they’re “non-essential”? I’d like to see you survive in that office or bus with menstruating women who don’t use tampons/pads.

    • 1. I reiterate, condoms and lubricant should be subject to GST. Shaving cream and razors too. Perhaps you didn’t bother to read the article.

      2. You’re disgusting.

      • But Yale, condoms, razors and shaving cream are not male specific? Women buy these too… There is no ‘male equivalent’ to tampons and such, I think is the point of the argument. There are also alternatives to the products you suggest if people choose.

        • Hi Meg, and welcome 🙂 I think there are a couple of things people are overlooking here, and whilst your point is valid, there are some over-arching points that I do think render it somewhat moot.

          The first is the obvious state of the federal budget and, whilst I have pointed the finger in today’s article (and previously) the fact remains it’s a torrent of red ink: a billion dollars per week.

          No matter how nominal the amount of money is (and we’ll come back to that) no government in its right mind should be countenancing additional exemptions — and this point is compounded by the fact Labor and the Greens flatly refuse to allow revenue generating or expenditure cutting measures through the Senate; the only things they are prepared to support are those that increase spending, with is obscene.

          Third, whilst I take your point about the female-only nature of tampons, the fact is that the tax take is less than $10 per person per year, even accounting for (please excuse me using this phrase) heavy usage. At the time the GST was introduced, offsetting tax cuts (or welfare increases, depending on your situation) were designed as a catch-all to compensate for the effects of the change, including this one. These remain unchanged.

          And finally, far from cutting the GST back, it should apply to everything — and in my view be lifted — with the trade-off being a scythe being put through PAYE taxes and a boost to welfare scales, putting more money into people’s pockets. In fact, with GST at 2c per tampon, even doubling the GST would see those items remain barely affected by the subsequent change.

          I’m sorry I can’t agree with you Meg. But in the final analysis, if this “push” was anything more than an attempt to renew anti-misogyny proceedings against the Prime Minister and his government, then it would have confronted Julia Gillard when she was Prime Minister.

          It did not, and it should be recognised for what it is: a militantly anti-Abbott tactic dressed up as a women’s issue. That is why I am so dismissive — and contemptuous — of it.

        • I agree with you Meg. But to be honest, removing the tax is only going to see products drop by around $0.50 a packet (so for me, that would equate to $1.50 per month). Is that really worth getting knickers in a twist over?

  4. Joe Hockey is a joke. I never thought I would see a more incompetent Treasurer propped up by a similarly-incompetent PM for so long. When he agreed to the tampon tax reform on Q&A, it sure looked to me that he was doing so because he was nervous and didn’t know what else to say.

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