3 October 2018
Transcript - #2018029, 2018

Interview with Ben Fordham, Sydney Live, 2GB

Subjects: Removal of GST on feminine hygiene products; and GST reform.

BEN FORDHAM:

Treasurer, good afternoon.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Nice to be with you, Ben.

BEN FORDHAM:

I seem to remember that it was a former Treasurer Joe Hockey who said on Q&A one night, well this should go, the 10 per cent GST on tampons should go. He was slapped down at the time by his boss Tony Abbott, but you have seen the light, have you?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, certainly, Joe was ahead of the game there and we as a Coalition Government put it on the agenda, when Labor in their six years in the office did nothing about this. The result is that female hygiene products will no longer have the GST from the 1st of January this year. You did say that it is going to cost $30 million a year, but as you know the states have seen their GST revenues increase quite dramatically and another $6.5 billion is coming their way over the forward estimates as GST is applied to online sales.

BEN FORDHAM:

Now the products to be made exempt will likely to include tampons, pads, maternity pads and leak proof underwear. I think when you have got condoms and Viagra not subject to the GST, then it is a fair argument to make, isn’t it, that these female hygiene products be exempt.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

I think this was a tax anomaly and community expectations are that these female sanitary products are exempt and that is what I am pleased we were able to achieve at today’s meeting with the Treasurers.

BEN FORDHAM:

What about the argument – I know that Tony Abbott will join us later on in the program – has always warned that if you go exempting things you open up a can of worms. But is it as simple, Treasurers saying no, we are putting a line through this, but that’s it, we are not going to make other exemptions going forward?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

We are not looking to. We need to protect, as you say, the integrity of the system. The big other change that we discussed as treasurers today was ensuring a fairer distribution of the GST, which will see NSW benefit by $351 million and importantly not seeing a repeat of the situation with Western Australia, where they went down to 30 cents in their GST dollar. And we are putting an additional $9 billion from the Commonwealth to the states and territories and this will leave every state and territory better off.

BEN FORDHAM:

We appreciate your time this afternoon, Treasurer

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Good to be with you, Ben.