A group is lobbying the federal government to remove the Government Sales Tax (GST) on tampons and other menstrual hygiene products, and has
gathered more than 49,500 signatures on a petition at the time of this writing.
The group, No Tax on Tampons, believes the tax should be removed on the grounds that products such as menstrual tampons, pads, and cups are essential to the lives of Canadian women, that the so-called ‘tampon tax’ imposes an unfair financial burden on women, and paying the GST contributes to a financial burden on Canadian households. No Tax on Tampons is quick to point out that although the Government of Canada regards menstrual hygiene products as luxury items, many items including incontinence products, cocktail cherries, human sperm, and wedding cakes are not subject to the GST.
Cut the tampon tax
— I’m Essential (@CDNMenstruators) February 20, 2015
Think the tampon tax isn’t that big a deal? It’s true that the GST has been reduced to 5% across the board, but since the average woman will use more than 11,000 tampons or pads in her lifetime, that 5% certainly adds up. In essence, it equates to gender-based taxation.
Don’t tax periods—period.
On their Change.org page, No Tax on Tampons explains why applying the GST to menstrual products is an unfair policy:
In 2014, it’s estimated that approximately 17,876,392 Canadian women between the ages of 12–49 spent about $519,976,963.00 on menstrual hygiene products.
That means the government collected approximately $36,398,387.00 in government sales taxes because our uteruses did what they do naturally.
Our government makes money off of our bodies.
Menstrual products have already been excluded from Provincial Sales Tax (PST) in the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba.
Do you think menstrual products should be tax free? Share your thoughts below!