Myer chairman Paul McClintock has criticised the application of GST laws at the retailer’s annual general meeting, stating they are creating an “unfair exemption for overseas companies”.McClintock told shareholders Australian governments “need to work harder to create the right conditions for business to thrive”.
“Currently retailers are having to face several major inconsistencies which harm trade,” he commented.
“The first, which I have raised repeatedly, is the continuing unfair exemption for overseas companies on the goods and services tax on delivery of items of what is misleadingly called ‘lower value’.”
McClintock said Myer collected over $300 million in GST from its customers in the last financial year, and pays income tax of over $49 million along with payroll tax of over $20 million.
“Offshore retailers selling into Australia pay none of this and it is important that this loophole is closed,” he stated.
“The retail industry has argued strongly that the GST exemption issue must be on the agendas of federal and state governments, but action has still not been taken.”
Meanwhile, McClintock stated a year of profit decline was “disappointing” but in line with expectations, adding Myer is looking to the benefits of its investments beginning to be realised in the 2015 financial year.
Myer anticipates sales growth and a modest growth in operating gross profit margin in the 2015 financial year.