Senate debates

Monday, 19 June 2017

Bills

Treasury Laws Amendment (GST Low Value Goods) Bill 2017; In Committee

11:57 am

Photo of Katy GallagherKaty Gallagher (ACT, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

Labor certainly agrees that we need a way to fix the current arrangements around the GST and sanitary products, and we have certainly been clear about this in the past, but we do not believe an amendment to this bill is the way to fix it. We think in all fairness, considering how important the GST is for states and territories, and indeed the agreement that exists between the Commonwealth and the states and territories on GST arrangements, that these discussions about how this should be done and when it should be done needs to happen with all of those parties but also needs to be done at the start of the process, not at the end of it here in this chamber.

We understand the Greens position on this issue. Labor has previously put forward the proposal that the additional GST on digital downloads be used to more than offset the cost of exempting sanitary products, and I think that was a condition that we urged the former Treasurer to take to the treasurers meeting to discuss and reach agreement on. I think at that meeting there were Liberal state treasurers who disagreed with that approach. Whilst we will not support this amendment this morning, we do acknowledge the intent behind it and certainly the Labor Party's view is that this is something that we need to look at further and we need to examine and discuss with all relevant parties how the removal of GST on sanitary products could be progressed with the agreement of all parties. At this point we will not be supporting this amendment to this bill.

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