Solomon Lew Wants Online Tax Break Gone Now
At Premier’s annual general meeting today, Lew stated Premier applauded the government in June upon announcement that the GST low-value threshold would be lowered from $1,000 to zero, stating it “followed years and years of offshore retailers having an unfair and uncompetitive advantage over local retailers”.
“However, whilst the announcement of a future change was made, the change itself is yet to occur and all Australian-based retailers, large and small, continue to trade on an uneven playing field,” Lew commented.
“The lowering of the low-value threshold has to happen and it has to happen now.”
In comparable economies, governments had acted on the issue years ago, Lew said.
“In Australia, there are simply too many small retailers that have either gone out of business or will go out of business waiting for this change, too many Australian retailing jobs that have already disappeared or will disappear shortly and too much urgently needed government revenue foregone,” he commented.
“Bureaucratic complacency cannot continue to frustrate sound public policy and the need for immediate action.”
Lew added that Premier is “very supportive of the government’s review of penalty rates”.
“The structure of the current regime of weekend penalty rates is incompatible with the world we live in, where most consumers shop on weekends and can also shop online 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he commented.
“Our penalty rate system functions in a way which is economically unproductive and provides less jobs.”
“Our own experience in the United Kingdom shows that, without punitive penalty rates, we can employ more people who want to work on the weekends. This is enhancing the shopping experience for customers whilst raising the level of productivity.”