Pharmac says it would consider sanitary product funding, if asked


Pharmac says it would consider funding sanitary products if someone made an application, as more tales of women and girls going without emerge.

Despite the problems being faced by some New Zealanders, lowering the price on tampons and pads isn't on the government's radar.
Source: Seven Sharp

Women's Minister Louise Upston and Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse have already dismissed the idea of dropping GST on the products, and say it is not an idea being looked at.

Darryl Evans, from the Mangere Budgeting Service in Auckland, says as the cost of living rises across the country, families are having to prioritise food over sanitary items.

He says in the last three to four months he's become aware of at least 10 families who have kept their daughters home from school because they couldn't afford sanitary products.

"I'm certainly aware of a family we've been working with where there's a girl who's 16 years of age, at least one week of every four, she stays home because the family cannot afford them.

"The mum is a solo mum, she's working full time, but the reality is when the rent is taking up 65 percent of the income...our young people simply don't have access to them because their parents don't earn enough. I think that's a national disgrace."

Michael Woodhouse told Seven Sharp the GST system has “no exceptions”.
Source: Seven Sharp

Taylor, 15, says she's had to stay home from school in the past to avoid a public accident.

"I didn't have the things I needed, mum didn't get paid till the next day so mum kept me home."

She says 'emergency supplies' are available at her school, but they only give away enough to get students through the day, and that students must get them from the school reception and sign their name on a list, instead of getting them confidentially through the school nurse.

"It was my time of the month, I went to the office and there were three of the main kids who like to tease people a lot, I was so nervous I didn't wanna say anything coz the boys were there, they were listening in, I could tell coz they were leaning forward, it was so embarrassing."

The UK, Canada, and several states in the US have got rid of tax on the products or are in the process of doing so.

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