After being confronted by campaigners on live television Monday, federal treasurer Joe Hockey decided he would lobby state and territory governments to remove the GST on sanitary products.
However, yesterday afternoon prime minister Tony Abbott seemed to extinguish Hockey’s plan, saying “it’s certainly not something that this government has a plan to do.”
But then yesterday afternoon Hockey tweeted this:
I have asked Treasury to cost removing the GST on sanitary products and will write to the states for them to consider before we meet in July
— Joe Hockey (@JoeHockey) May 26, 2015
What’s going on?
During a media conference in Canberra today, the prime minister was asked whether there was an inconsistency in the government’s views on the GST.
Abbott said: “Joe was asked a question on Q&A by some activists and said he had some sympathy on this matter. If the states do decide they want to narrow the tax base, then so be it.”
Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, the Northern Territory and ACT state governments are in favour of scrapping the GST on women’s sanitary products, while NSW and Western Australia are willing to discuss the matter at the next treasury meeting.
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said Labor would support the move if the states could come to an agreement.
Earlier this month university student Subeta Vimalarajah organised an online campaign and petition requesting the government remove the GST on tampons and sanitary pads.
She secured more than 90,000 signatures and over 11,000 submissions to the government’s better tax review.
Here’s Vimalarajah confronting Hockey on Q&A Monday.
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