RETAILERS say in light of the recently announced carbon tax the government continues to ignore the deeply inequitable tax arrangements that favour overseas retailers.
The National Retail Association executive director Gary Black said the wide-ranging changes to income and business tax that had been announced over the weekend should also have addressed the GST and customs exemptions that give overseas retailers an unfair advantage in the Australian market.
“Retailers have already expressed deep concern about the potential impact of the carbon tax on their businesses,” Mr Black said. “Clearly we welcome the compensation payments, and are hopeful that they will offset some of the more severe impacts of the new tax on consumer spending.
“However, we believe there was an opportunity for wider reform which would have created an even greater stimulus in the Australian retail sector. If the Federal Government had addressed the inequities in the GST, customs and excise regimes, it would have removed one of the most significant issues confronting the retail sector.
“If they act on this issue quickly, they will secure the jobs of many thousands of casual and part-time employees in a sector which is highly exposed to the costs of the carbon tax issue. If the Government fails to act on this issue, it will compound existing problems with a new, punitive tax regime and jobs are certain to be lost.”