Hygiene In Australia

Decent Essays
Every month, women are subjected to days of immense pain. A combination of symptoms such as cramps, headaches, mood swings, and the uncomfortable, uncontrollable sensation of expelling one's uterus lining are not things women look forward to. In addition to this discomfort, Australian women have to pay for costly feminine hygiene products such as tampons and sanitary napkins throughout decades of their lives. Despite these products being a necessity for women, they continue to be taxed in Australia through the goods and services tax (GST). Feminine hygiene products should be tax free within Australia because of the ineffective nature of the GST due to current GST-exclusions, and also because of current gender imbalances including the issues…show more content…
The Australian Taxation Office defines the goods and services tax as “a broad-based tax of 10% on most goods, services and other items sold or consumed in Australia” (2015a). Some GST-free products and services include “most basic food”, “some medical, health and care services”, “some medical aids and appliances” and “some medicines” (Australian Taxation Office, 2015b). For example, basic foods like fruit, milk and bread are GST-exclusive (Australian Taxation Office, 2014a) because they play a vital role in Australian diets and should be easily accessible. These relatively unprocessed foods contain a variety of nutrients (Cranston, 2016). Items such as lollies and chips however are not considered to be part of the basic food group and are GST-inclusive (Australian Taxation Office, 2014a) as excessive consumption may lead to adverse health issues such as obesity (Raising Children Network, 2013). As basic foods are GST-free they cost less, and consumers are more inclined to buy these cheaper options than those with GST. Although the government collects less revenue, GST-exemptions ensure that food with nutritional benefits and lower health risks are obtained easily by lower income earners. Similarly, other goods and services like condoms, sunscreen and doctor's appointments do not attract GST (Australian Taxation Office, 2014b) because they are needed to prevent illness and promote the general wellbeing of Australians. If these items were taxed, Australians would be forced to pay more for preventative health measures and as a result may forgo them completely (Welch, 2010). Although these items are only utilised occasionally, an increase in their price would have an adverse impact upon the health and safety of individuals and society and lead to increases in sicknesses such as sexually transmitted infections and skin cancers. Ultimately, this would result in more complex health issues and
Get Access