Premier Investments calls for GST change


enter,keyboard,shopping,online,ecommcerBillionaire businessman, Solomon Lew, has called on the new federal government to tighten the GST exemption for goods bought online from overseas.

The chairman of Premier Investments – the retailer behind Just Jeans, Portmans and Jacqui E – says the existing $1000 threshold is too high.

“We … hope that the new government will take action in relation to the market distortion of the competitive advantage provided to international competitors,” he told shareholders in Melbourne on Thursday.

His call comes a day after Myer chairman Paul McClintock made a similar call, arguing that 33,000 retail jobs would be lost by 2015 without a policy change.

Joe de Bruyn, the head of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, in October called for the threshold to be reduced from $1000 to $20 for online overseas purchases.

“We welcome the recent intervention of Joe de Bruyn, leader of the 213,000-member Shop, Distributive and Allied Employee union,” ]Lew said.

“He understands that this issue goes fundamentally to jobs and the viability of local businesses.

“Premier fully supports his view.”

The Gillard government in 2011 dismissed Harvey Norman co-founder Gerry Harvey’s call for a policy change, with then treasurer Wayne Swan labelling him a whinger.


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