Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey is reconsidering what has been dubbed the “tampon tax” after a campaign by a university student rallied nearly 100,000 supporters in branding the levy sexist.
When Australia introduced a Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2000, health products such as condoms and sunscreen were exempt from the 10 percent charge, along with most foodstuffs, but tampons and other women’s hygiene products were not, despite an outcry at the time.
Hockey admitted late on Monday that tampons “probably should” be considered essential health products and therefore GST-free, but said any decision would have to be backed by state and territory governments which receive revenues from the tax.
“I will raise it with the states at the next meeting of the treasurers in July,” Hockey told student Subeta Vimalarajah, whose “Stop Taxing My Period” petition has attracted 93,500 signatures.
In her online petition, Vimalarajah pointed out that “people who get periods don’t buy pads and tampons for pleasure, so why are we forced to fork out an extra 10 percent every two, three, four weeks?”
“Taxing Australians for getting their period isn’t just sexist, it’s fundamentally unfair,” she said.
Asked about the proposal yesterday, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott backed away from giving a view.
“When it comes to the GST, it is a state tax,” he told reporters in Canberra. “My preference is that the states and territories should make up their minds whether they want any changes to the GST and, if they do, then they are welcome to come to us.”
A petition calling for Britain’s 5 percent sales tax on tampons to be scrapped has attracted more than 230,000 signatories since its launch a year ago, but due to EU rules such a move is unlikely.
Similar petitions are also under way in France, Italy, Malaysia and Canada.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion