3 October 2018
Transcript - #2018033, 2018

Interview with Carrie Bickmore, Madeleine West, Pete Helliar and Hamish Macdonald, The Project, Channel Ten

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

CARRIE BICKMORE:

Josh, great day today, but let’s get to it. If we can axe the tampon tax, why can’t we remove the GST on things like breast pumps and nipple shields. 

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, we are keeping it to feminine hygiene products, as you say tampons, pads and liners. That will cost about $30 million a year. It is a common sense change, it is one that is long overdue and it will be good news for Australian women.

CARRIE BLACKMORE:

You’ve got kids, and I am sure your wife would agree that the nipple shields are such a luxury item.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Yeah I mean we could debate all of these things, as you know it doesn’t apply to condoms and lubricants and I think it was an anomaly that it did apply to feminine hygiene products, but now that has been changed. It has taken 18 years to get here so it is a bit of a cause for celebration tonight.

MADELEINE WEST:

So tell me, a lot of people consider this quite a divisive argument along the gender lines. If men got their periods, would this whole issue been cleared up years ago?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Look, I think it was just an anomaly at the time for a lot of reasons. It wasn’t changed namely that nobody wanted to tinker with the base of the GST. But that has now changed and I think today is something we can all move forward with together and celebrate the fact at least with this anomaly it has been changed.

MADELEINE WEST:

Hear, hear.

PETE HELLIAR:

Yeah it is Josh and there has been a lot of pressure and a lot of people have done great work in pressuring the government to change this. But there was one rap clip we play on this show during the year - I think we are going to have a quick look at it.

<video plays>

I mean, sadly they are only one hit wonders Josh, I’m not sure where they have gone since.

CARRIE BLACKMORE:

I need to do one for nipple shields!

PETE HELLIAR:

Nipple shields!

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

It’s a lot better than Scoop Dogg, isn’t it? A lot better than Scoop Dogg, I reckon.

PETE HELLIAR:

You might be right.

HAMISH MACDONALD:

You’ve also been having this much bigger discussion today about the carve-up of the GST between the states and territories. And the crucial question tonight is whether you can guarantee that no state or territory will be worse off under these changes.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well every state and territory will benefit from these reforms that we have made. We are taking a leadership position and what we have done is use the Productivity Commission data that has been provided by the states and territories themselves.

We have also put in an additional $9 billion to help the states and territories and as a result they will all be better off on the numbers that we have produced.

HAMISH MACDONALD:

So if it so great, why aren’t all the states and territories happy with it?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well look, certainly there are states that are pleased, in particularly Western Australia, but what I have said to the states very clearly is that we need to have a sustainable system going forward and having Western Australia with just 30 cents in the dollar was not good enough.

We have used the data that has been provided by the states themselves to the Productivity Commission and as a result it shows that every state and territory will be better off under these GST reforms.

PETE HELLIAR:

Our Defence Minister Christopher Pyne, we were talking to him earlier about helping a young bloke learn to drive. Do you think the fixer could help with the nibble shields?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

I saw that white knuckle ride that he took in the car with the young man and he certainly looked a bit nervous there, Chris.

CARRIE BICKMORE:

Treasurer, thanks very much for your time tonight.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Good to be with you guys.