Labor govt will scrap 'tampon tax'

Labor has promised to axe the tampon tax if it wins government, calling the GST on women's sanitary products unfair and discriminatory.

Australian women spend around $300 million on sanitary products each year with each item attracting the 10 per cent GST because they are not considered necessities, the opposition said in a statement on Sunday.

However, products such as incontinence pads, sunscreen, nicotine patches and even Viagra are exempt from the tax.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, calling it a "tax on women", has urged the Turnbull government to do away with it in next month's federal budget.

To recoup the $30 million that would be lost, Labor suggest the GST be applied to 12 natural therapies such as herbalism and naturopathy.

There is already bipartisan support for removing the private health insurance rebate for these therapies, which the country's Chief Medical Officer and the National Health and Medical Research Council say are not supported by clinical evidence.

Scrapping the tampon tax will also be an important step forwards in gender equity, the statement adds.

Deputy Labor Leader Tanya Plibersek and opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King are to formally launch the policy later on Sunday, according to Fairfax Media.