Scrap tax penalising newborns and mums

The Senate has agreed to a motion by Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm today calling for the removal of the GST on breastfeeding aids.

“Breastfeeding aids are essential healthcare products for many mothers and their babies and all medical evidence points to breastmilk being best for infants in the first six months of their lives,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.

“Yet we have this inconsistent hypocritical tax system where products that encourage and facilitate breastfeeding attract a 10 per cent levy while infant formula, quite rightly, remains GST-free.

“The Commonwealth Health Minister is empowered under section 38.47 of the GST Act to unilaterally declare additional goods to be GST-free. Previous Commonwealth Health Ministers have used this power to make various goods GST‑free, including condoms, lubricants, folic acid, sunscreen and nicotine patches and gums.

“In the Senate today the Government said it would require the support of the states and territories to make breastfeeding aids GST-free. The Government has already secured this support for the removal of another discriminatory tax on sanitary products.

“I therefore urge the Government to put the issue of removing the GST from breastfeeding aids on the agenda of the next COAG Council on Federal Financial Relations meeting.”

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