Harvey Norman & Myer Move To Stop Cheap Internet Products

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Harvey Norman, who has been pocketing big profits on consumer electronic goods because of the strength of the Australian dollar, is set to join a consortium of Australia’s biggest retailers in a major advertising campaign aimed at pressuring the Australian Federal Government to introduce a 10% GST on Internet purchased goods under $1,000.

Harvey Norman, who has been pocketing big profits on consumer electronic goods because of the strength of the Australian dollar, is set to join a consortium of Australia’s biggest retailers in a major advertising campaign aimed at pressuring the Australian Federal Government to introduce a 10% GST on Internet purchased goods under $1,000.

Among the retailers joining Harvey Norman will be Myer, David Jones, and Target, who will today begin taking out print ads in a bid to hamper online sales which the retailers claim are hurting their business in Australia.

What Harvey Norman has not explained is why a consumer can buy the new Samsung Galaxy Tab for $500 online from US retailers when he is selling the identical device for $899.
In December Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes criticised the government’s announcement of a Productivity Commission inquiry into the taxation of online purchases as a delaying tactic and said urgent action was needed to stop jobs from being lost.

The Sun Herald in Melbourne reports that sluggish retail sales, heavy discounting in the lead-up to the Christmas sales period and a surging Australian dollar have encouraged consumers to shop over the internet, devastating the retail sector.

In the ads, the retail coalition, which collectively employs more than 76,000 people, warns that failing to act “will see a reduction in hours and shifts for casual and part-time workers, and ultimately cost Australians jobs in retail, manufacturing, logistics and related services”.

The advertisement also says that if the government does not want to impose GST on internet purchases — currently exempt from GST and import duty if less than $1000 — it should not impose it on domestic purchases.

“That means everyone is exempt from GST and duty charges for purchases less than $1000, or everyone has to pay GST and duty,” the ad reads.

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