The thing both women and Tony Abbott can’t avoid TAMPON TAX

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The thing both women and Tony Abbott can’t avoid


Emma – GetUp!

2:25 PM (1 hour ago)

to me

Front page of the Australian Financial Review today: “Hockey, PM split over tampon tax.”1 That’s right, Minister for Women Tony Abbott just overruled his Treasurer on removing the tax on tampons, when other “essential health items”, like condoms and lubricant, are excluded from GST.2

You see, just weeks ago, a university student named Subeta launched a petition on GetUp’s grassroots petition platform CommunityRun to end the tampon tax, and nearly 100,000 people have joined her since. Thanks to her passion, hard work and strategic campaigning, Subeta got to confront Treasurer Joe Hockey live on the ABC programme Q&A Monday night.

In a brilliant moment of democracy in action, Treasurer Joe Hockey agreed that yes, the tampon tax should go… until Mr Abbott overruled him the next morning.3 So Subeta is heading to Parliament this week to organise an audacious stunt to confront the Prime Minister, and this is our chance to back her up.

In 2015, no politician under sustained pressure can maintain the case that tampons and sanitary pads are not “essential” items (Mr Hockey is proof). So, put simply, as long as menstruating Australians can’t avoid the tampon tax, then neither should Tony Abbott.

It all starts this week with Subeta and a massive 20 metre billboard truck parked on Parliament House lawn featuring two things: Tony Abbott and tampons. And it continues with more inventive, irreverent and sustained tampon-related tactics backed by our donations, until the tax is scrapped.

Can you help get behind Subeta’s campaign? Click here to check out the giant billboard and chip in to make sure Mr Abbott is surrounded by tampons until he lets Mr Hockey follow through on scrapping the tax.

It’s amazing what one person can accomplish. Thanks to Subeta’s campaign, all the major media outlets are backing this story, from ABC to Sunrise, with Subeta herself doing interviews yesterday with Channel 7, ABC, and more. So here’s what we have planned to help Subeta — and her nearly 100,000 fellow campaigners — keep the pressure on:

  • Renting a huge tampon truck to park in front of Parliament House this week — a real attention grabber for Mr Abbott and the media (click here to check it out)
  • Making human-sized tampon costumes to follow Mr Abbott around Canberra and elsewhere
  • Getting a giant tampon billboard up in Mr Abbott’s electorate
  • Flying tampons in the skies around Mr Abbott, from kites to giant aerial banners.

We’re only limited by our imaginations and what we can raise together now. Click on the link to chip in:

Subeta saw something that she knew in her heart was wrong, and decided to do something about it. Nearly 100,000 signatures later, she had the Treasurer of the nation on board too. Now Mr Abbott is trying to hide from his responsibilities to ensure fair and equal treatment of half the population by saying the tampon tax is “a matter for the states”.4

But the truth is, GST changes almost always begin with the Federal Government – just like the Abbott Government’s new ‘Netflix tax’ on digital products. And it wasn’t just “a matter for the states” in 2004 when Health Minister Tony Abbott excluded condoms and lubricant from the GST!5

So we can’t let Tony Abbott take this win away from Subeta and her supporters — and from all the people who have fought for this change over many years. It may be a small tax but it’s an incredibly symbolic one. And it speaks volumes that our Prime Minister would intervene in his Treasurer’s responsibilities, in order to support a tax that forces women to pay more for an essential health item. Sound fair? Hardly.

Chip in to send some larger-than-life tampons to Mr Abbott, and show the Prime Minister for Women just how costly a decision it is to continue taxing tampons.

Thanks for all you do,
Emma, Sara & Nat, for the GetUp team

PS – Mr Abbott is trying to claim that Joe Hockey didn’t agree with Subeta on Q&A Monday night. But in case you missed it, here’s how it went down after Subeta asked her question (Note: Mr Hockey said he’d been asked about it before, which means he had time to formulate his answer):6

TONY JONES: So should the GST be taken off [sanitary products]? That’s the point.

JOE HOCKEY: Well, it probably should, yes. The answer is yes …

JOE HOCKEY (to Subeta): Well, good on you for getting the petition together and I will give you this undertaking: I will raise it with the States at the next meeting of the Treasurers in July.

SUBETA: Thank you, so much. That’d be great…

JOE HOCKEY: I was asked it in a pub the other day as well, in politics in the pub and a range of other places so, look, if you feel strongly about it, I’m fine about it.

Chip in to make sure Tony Abbott doesn’t get to rewrite history and take this win away from Subeta and all menstruating Australians.

[1] “Tampon tax break creates confusion for Coalition policy”, The Australian Financial Review, 26 May 2015
[2] “Abbott downplays tampon tax pledge”, SBS online, 26 May 2015
[3] “Abbott downplays tampon tax pledge”, SBS online, 26 May 2015
[4] “Tampon tax: Tony Abbott says removing GST on sanitary items ‘certainly not something Government plans to do'”, ABC news, 27 May 2015
[5] “GST-free Supply (Health Goods) Determination bill”, Minister for Health and Ageing Tony Abbott, 2004
[6] “Joe Hockey on the Tradies vs Ladies Budget”, Q&A on the ABC, 25 May 2015

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