Carrie Bickmore -- much-loved television personality, brain cancer campaigner, mother-of-two and all-round superwoman -- has taken a firm stand against the tampon tax, calling the ongoing debate “ridiculous.”
On Tuesday’s episode of The Project, Carrie, 36, urged opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King to scrap the tax in a terse live on-air exchange.
“I can only assume you and your colleagues think tampons and pads are luxuries?” she began.
The politician responded: “Not at all. We want to see the GST removed from tampons and sanitary pads. Unfortunately, what we saw yesterday was a stunt from the Greens where they tacked on an attempt to get rid of the tampons tax onto a GST bill which would have scuttled the opportunity we had for retailers in this country to have an even playing field with foreign retailers. It is not the way to go about it. We have to get rid of this tax. I am happy to lead the charge on that but we have to do it properly.”
Carrie, refusing to accept any justification, quickly shot back.
“Get it done, it is 2017!” she said. “It seems ridiculous that we are having this conversation. Today I was reading incontinence pads are GST-free but sanitary pads aren’t. Is it the size or what they are collecting, how, they are the same product?”
The fiery comments follow an unsuccessful bid from the Greens to amend government legislation and remove the 10 per cent ‘luxury’ tax on sanitary items.
Ms King went on to blame the problem on the states’ and territories’ dependence on the revenue.
“They have funding for public hospitals, all the things they are funding so we have to find a replacement for it,” she said. “That will be the challenge. It is really important that we do it and the more we talk about it, let’s hopefully we can get it done this time.”
The veteran journalist explained it shouldn’t be a case of one or the other, hospital funding or removing the controversial tax.
“It feels like that is a shame that is where the conversation ends,” she said. “ ... People aren’t wanting hospitals defunded. Do you know what I mean? It is like that or that?”
The program, which promises “news delivered differently,” also shared a video package showing Carrie and co-host Fifi Box performing a comedy rap about the much-discussed tax.
“Every month Aussie women get their cramp on. Every month Aussie women need a tampon,” Carrie, under the moniker 'MC Bicks,' rapped.
“The tax man has got his hand out. Ten per cent GST, get the f*ck out.”
They added: “Condoms and lube are exempt for dudes. So are precious metals and some basic foods. That’s why the Greens tried to stick it to the tax man. But the Government and Labor wouldn’t back the plan.”