Fair Imports Alliance has its final say

Published on Mon, 23/05/2011, 10:36:46


The Fair Imports Alliance has called for the removal of the $1000 GST threshold to equalise trading condition for Australian retailers in its submission to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the future of Australia’s $240 billion retail sector.

The Fair Imports Alliance’s submission was part of the last lot of submissions made to the Productivity Commission.

The Fair Imports Alliance spokesperson Brad Kitschke said the submission quashes claims that online sales only account for a small percentage of total retail sales.

“Poor and declining retail sales are being driven by a number of factors but there is no question that consumer preference for online retail has increased and is continuing to grow. The question the Government must answer is: does it want a regulatory environment that allows the market to trade equally, or does it want to continue to penalise domestic traders?” he said.

“The role of the government in the free market economy is to allow market forces to dictate conditions but the low value threshold does the opposite in a form of reverse protectionism. It must be removed to allow a tax neutral environment.”

Along with the removal of the GST threshold, the Fair Imports Alliance also called for the transition funding for domestic retailers to better engage in the digital economy; tariff reductions to allow consumers to access imported goods at cheaper prices; branding of domestic etailers as ‘Australian’; and a dedicated federal minister responsible for the retail sector and the creation of retail advisory structures.

“We’re not asking the Government to give Australian retail an advantage over overseas suppliers. We are asking the Government to remove taxes on Australian businesses that are not imposed on those overseas and to give the retail sector the same importance that any other $240 billion sector in the economy is afforded,” Kitschke said

The Productivity Commission will now review all submissions before releasing a draft report in August.


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