Tampon tax tirade: Carrie Bickmore's fiery interview
CARRIE Bickmore had one stern demand during a heated interview about ditching the much-debated tampon tax: "Get it done, it is 2017!"
Tuesday night's terse exchange on The Project between Bickmore and opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King on The Project saw the usually lighthearted presenter fire up after calls to scrap the GST on tampons were rejected.
Yesterday, the Greens tried to remove the tax from tampons but it was blocked by the Government and Labor.
From Bickmore's opening question, it was clear she was taking no prisoners.
"I can only assume you and your colleagues think tampons and pads are luxuries?" she said bluntly.
Ms King was adamant her party did not.
"Not at all. We want to see the GST removed from tampons and sanitary pads," she said.
"Unfortunately, what we saw yesterday was a stunt from the Greens where they tacked on an attempt to get rid of the tampons tax onto a GST bill which would have scuttled the opportunity we had for retailers in this country to have an even playing field with foreign retailers. It is not the way to go about it. We have to get rid of this tax. I am happy to lead the charge on that but we have to do it properly."
Yesterday, a renewed bid to scrap the GST on tampons failed in the Senate. The Greens tried to remove the GST from women's sanitary products by amending government legislation extending the impost to imported goods with a value of less than $1000. The measure raises $300 million over three years
Not satisfied with Ms King's response, Bickmore didn't back down.
"Get it done, it is 2017!" she shot back.
"It seems ridiculous that we are having this conversation. Today I was reading incontinence pads are GST-free but sanitary pads aren't. Is it the size or what they are collecting, how, they are the same product?"
Ms King agreed it was "crazy" but blamed the problem on the states' and territories' dependence on the revenue.
"They have funding for public hospitals, all the things they are funding so we have to find a replacement for it. That will be the challenge. It is really important that we do it and the more we talk about it, let's hopefully we can get it done this time."
Bickmore retaliated, accusing Ms King of using hospital funding as a kind of ultimatum that would stop people pushing for the tax to be cut.
"It feels like that is a shame that is where the conversation ends," she said. " ... People aren't wanting hospitals defunded. Do you know what I mean? It is like (you're saying) that or that?"
Before the fiery interview, a prerecorded video package played of Bickmore and co-host Fifi Box performing a gangsta-style rap about the tax - under the monikers MC Bix and DJ Box.
"Every month Aussie women get their cramp on. Every month Aussie women need a tampon.
The tax man has got his hand out. Ten per cent GST, get the f*ck out," Bickmore rapped.
"Condoms and lube are exempt for dudes. So are precious metals and some basic foods. That's why the Greens tried to stick it to the tax man. But the Government and Labor wouldn't back the plan."