Retirement Income

Joanita Wibowo

Research reveals the hidden “tax” on Aussie staples

Research reveals the hidden “tax” on Aussie staples

A hidden “tax” has affected 50 per cent of Aussie shoppers, as they get charged more for everyday staples for no good reason.

A new research by AMP found that common products sold at Australian supermarkets and retailers are priced at a higher cost when they are targeted at women.

Women were found to pay an average of 29 per cent more than men for razors, 16 per cent more for body wash and 12 per cent more for underwear.

There was also an 11 per cent gender price gap between men’s and women’s shampoo, a nine per cent difference in multivitamins and a five per cent disparity in jeans.

AMP financial adviser Di Charman said while the price differences might seem negligible at a glance, they could add up over a lifetime and affect women’s financial health in the long run.

“Some people might disregard the price difference between [men and women’s] products because it’s only a couple of dollars, but when you look at the differences in percentages, some are quite alarming,” she told

“When you use these items every day over a lifetime, it adds up, so don’t let your hard-earned dollars out of your hands easily.”

When it comes to dealing with gender tax, Charman advised speaking up to the retailers and manufacturers. “Sometimes you’ve got to ask, ‘holy smoke, why is this happening?’” she said.

“As women, we need to be a bit more vocal and perhaps give more feedback to organisations we’re purchasing from — all consumers should give feedback, because it’s the only way things change.”

The pink tax has been a longstanding issue in Australia and throughout the world, with lobby groups such as GetUp! campaigning to see the gap abolished.

 According to the latest statistics from Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Australian women still earn 14.1 per cent or $239.80 less than men on average.

“Women in Australia already earn … less than men, and when you factor in the gender price gap, we see that women are being paid less at work, and then paying more at the shops,” said GetUp! in its Gender Price Gap statement.

“It’s time we called out this practice for what it is: making women literally pay for gender stereotypes.”

The campaign to remove extra charges from women’s products has previously achieved success with the abolition of tampon tax last year. The ABC reported that after 18 years of campaign, all states and territories agreed to scrap the 10 per cent GST from tampons and pads in January this year.