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.