The biggest retailers in the country, happily profiting from a high Australian dollar for purchasing overseas-made goods, are determined to stop Australian consumers from doing the same:
Some of Australia’s biggest retailers are launching an advertising campaign saying existing tax rules give overseas-based online companies an unfair competitive advantage.
The lobby group includes Myer, David Jones, Harvey Norman and Target.
Goods bought online from overseas retailers are currently exempt from GST if they are worth less than $1,000, but Australian retailers want GST applied to all online purchases.
The point of that, obviously, is reducing the number of online sites willing to jump through the hoops to sell to Australians, and thereby restoring the local distributors’ profiteering monopoly – enabling them to buy more cheaply but forcing Australian consumers to pay inflated local prices. It only takes a moment to see that the difference between Australian retail prices and overseas online prices is much more than the 10% GST…
Like the big mining corporations before them, the retailers are printing ads threatening to have to SACK LOTS OF ORDINARY WORKERS if they don’t get their way (we don’t care if it costs more to enforce than the tax raised! The point is hurting our competitors!); like the miners, they’re talking absolute crap (our lower sales over Christmas are all to do with this convenient scapegoat and nothing else!).
Interestingly, even at News Ltd, the retailers don’t seem to be getting too much sympathy from readers or, once that became clear, the graphic artists:
I wonder if Mr Harvey thought through the consequences of highlighting to his customers on every news site just how much better deals are online.
Back to the drawing board, Gerry.
UPDATE (6/1): As will surprise practically no-one, Gerry is doubling down, calling anyone who shops online “un-Australian” and finally remembering that the successful mining industry campaign was about scaring people that they were going to “get whacked”:
“Yes, you might have to pay more, but it’s the right thing to do. You’ll pay a lot more if we lose jobs and retailers close down,” he said.
No, we’ll pay a lot more if overseas sites simply stop selling to us and we’re forced again to rely on you and your profiteering mates as the sole importers of those goods – which is of course your aim.
Or, as Stephen Harrington put it to Harvey in The Punch:
The funny thing is, though, I’m right with you. I want a level playing field too.
So I assume, like me, you’re in favour of estate tax? Perhaps, too, a significant boost in the minimum wage for Australians? I mean, that would certainly level the playing field regarding opportunities which are afforded to us and our children.
If you’re in favour of fairness, I assume you’ll soon be starting up a campaign to push for better pay for the workers in developing nations who make most of the household goods that you sell at a huge profit?
Maybe you could help out some of those people who weren’t given much of a start in life? Or, would that also be, in your own words, “just wasted”?
Hey, Gerry, in all seriousness if you really want “a level playing field”, I’m right behind you. But, like most people, I want to level the entire field, not just your luxurious corner of it.
Given how unpopular Mr Harvey makes himself every time he opens his mouth (including in his painful advertisements), it’s somewhat surprising that the other retailers were happy for him to speak for them.
UPDATE (7/1): Gerry inadvertently reveals how it’s got nothing to do with the 10% GST:
”What we are talking about is someone buying a guitar in New York, for instance, and having it sent over here 30 per cent cheaper. It is giving that overseas retailer the advantage.”
So, discounting the 10% GST, you admit you’re gouging another 20%?