ARA calls for a competitive corporate tax rate to sustain growth and drive prosperity in Australian retail industry

ARA calls for a competitive corporate tax rate to sustain growth and drive prosperity in Australian retail industry

 

Melbourne, Australia, 2018-Feb-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — As Australia’s leading peak body for the retail industry, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is calling for a competitive corporate tax rate to sustain growth and drive prosperity for the country’s $310 billion sector.

Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA, said the ARA works hard to advocate and support employers and employees working in the sector as the Australian retail industry employs 10% of the working population.

“The current trading environment has seen many retailers doing it tough, with last year’s retail trade figures averaging a 2.76% year-on-year growth, and retail trade growth down more than 1% on the 50 year average in 2017, the Government needs to intervene and offer some relief to the struggling industry,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“At 30%, Australia has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the advanced economic world, making it difficult for retailers to invest in jobs growth and increased wages that would benefit the economy.”

The ARA insists the present corporate tax rate currently discourages international and Australian businesses from investing in Australia and calls on all sides of politics to drive investment and accept the economic benefits tax cuts will create.

“The current corporate tax rate discourages international and Australian businesses from investing in Australia and providing further job opportunities, as many Australian and offshore businesses choose to invest in, and headquarters overseas,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“The Senate needs to cooperate with the Government’s plan to lower the corporate tax rate below 25% so local retailers are able to invest in their businesses and grow the Australian economy.”

Retailers have told the ARA that balancing rising cost pressures with low sales growth and a high-tax environment, it is becoming increasingly difficult with some retailers even struggling to pay their rent.

“As retailers are already struggling in a volatile trading environment, the ARA will continue to advocate for a reduced company tax rate before it stifles future employment and growth,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“The Australian retail industry currently employs more than 1.2 million people. If the corporate tax rate is not reduced to be more in line with our international counterparts, employees and the underemployed will be the ones who suffer, as employees are the heart and soul of retail.”

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association, representing the country’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As Australia’s leading retail peak body industry, the ARA is a strong pro-active advocate for Australian retail and works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

For interview opportunities with ARA Spokesperson call the ARA Media Line on 0439 612 556, or email media@retail.org.au 

Source: ARA

###

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman: July retail trade figures continued to show stable growth

Melbourne VIC , Australia, 2017-Sep-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the July trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) proved generally positive, with year-on-year growth remaining steady, and month-to-month growth contracting.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the July retail trade figures continued to show stable growth, and were a positive sign leading into the warmer months.

“Year-on-year growth remains strong for the retail industry with household goods, especially hardware, driving the figures,” Mr Zimmerman said.

The Household Goods category again saw a strong year-on-year increase with an overall 4.62% growth, while Department Stores recorded year-on-year growth for the first time this year with a 1.28% rise.

“It is encouraging to see the Hardware sector continuing to show robust growth year-on-year, with a 5.02% increase” Mr Zimmerman said.

“With the end of deep discounting events after the closure of Masters, the continued growth in the hardware sector as sales begin to normalise is a good sign for the retail industry as a whole.”

Mr Zimmerman said the return to growth in Department Stores was largely attributed to the early offering of spring fashions at the tail end of winter.

“New season fashions have brought customers back into the Department Stores, and the increase in sales bodes well as we move into summer.”

Clothing, Footwear and Personal Accessories continue to face tough conditions, with a modest 1.28% year-on-year increase.

Food retailing continued to remain strong, recording a 3.88% increase year-on-year, largely driven by continued strength in the supermarket sector with a 3.90% increase and a 1.51% increase in specialised food.

All states recorded growth year-on year, a positive sign for the months ahead. Victoria (5.63%) and New South Wales (4.18%) lead the pack with strong year-on-year growth. The Australian Capital Territory (3.95%), Tasmania (3.53%), and South Australia (2.99%) recorded a moderate increase year-on-year.  The Northern Territory (2.96%), Queensland (2.44%) and Western Australia (1.37%) showed gradual increases.

“It is great to see Victoria showing a significant increase in sales year-on-year, and Western Australia beginning to turn around with a change in government bringing some positivity to the west,” Mr Zimmerman said.

MONTHLY RETAIL GROWTH (June 2017– July 2017 seasonally adjusted)

Department stores (2.35%), Other retailing (1.33%), Food retailing (0.11%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.56%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-1.10%) and Household goods retailing (-1.26%).

Victoria (1.14%), Western Australia (0.51%), Queensland (-0.23%), New South Wales (-0.47%), Northern Territory (-0.56%), Australian Capital Territory (-1.37%), Tasmania (-1.59%) and South Australia (-1.70%).

Total sales (-0.03%).

YEAR-ON-YEAR RETAIL GROWTH (July 2016 – July 2017 seasonally adjusted)

Household goods retailing (4.62%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (4.48%), Other retailing (4.24%), Food retailing (3.88%), Department stores (1.28%) and Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.15%).

Victoria (5.63%), New South Wales (4.18%), Australian Capital Territory (3.95%), Tasmania (3.53%), South Australia (2.99%), Northern Territory (2.96%), Queensland (2.44%) and Western Australia (1.37%).

Total sales (3.77%).

-ends-

To arrange an interview with Mr Zimmerman, call the ARA Media line on 0439 612 556, or email media@retail.org.au.

About the Australian Retailers Association:
Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

SOURCE: Australian Retailers Association

ARA: NSW Boxing Day trade legislation is great news for retailers

Melbourne, Australia, 2017-Aug-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) applauds the NSW Government in moving to legislate Boxing Day trade across all parts of NSW after it was welcomed by retailers, employees and consumers during a two-year trial.

An independent review with comprehensive feedback from business owners, employees and shoppers has revealed this legislation will level the playing field for retailers who were previously prohibited from taking part in the Boxing Day sales simply because of their location.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said this announcement is great news for NSW retailers as Boxing Day is one of the busiest trading days of the year.

“Consumers want to shop on Boxing Day, and retailers want to trade, it’s as simple as that,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Giving NSW retailers an opportunity to trade on this public holiday not only gives retailers a chance to increase their sales it allows physical stores to compete with online and interstate retailers.”

As the retail sector is the largest private industry employer, the ARA believes this decision is also great news for NSW retail staff.

“Allowing Boxing Day trade in all areas of NSW gives retailers the opportunity to roster volunteer staff on one of the biggest trading days of the year,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Public holiday rates are a great way for employees to earn money and increasing trading hours for NSW retailers significantly reduces underemployment.”

This legislation aligns with the ARA’s submission to the NSW Government which supports deregulated trading hours on Boxing Day and will be introduced in the coming months.

The ARA will work with retailers and their employees to ensure they are fully aware of their rights ahead of Boxing Day this year.

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman, call the ARA Media team on 0439 612 556 or email media@retail.org.au.

Source: ARA

ARA: Officeworks wins 2017 eftpos Australian Retailer of the Year title

Melbourne, Australia, 2017-Aug-04 — /EPR Retail News/ — Australia’s extraordinary retailers have been crowned today (3 August 2017) at the Australian Retailers Association’s (ARA) 2017 eftpos Australian Retail Awards, with Officeworks taking out the coveted eftpos Australian Retailer of the Year title.

In an exceptional field of remarkable retailers, Officeworks have grown into Australia’s largest supplier of office and stationery products. As a true category-killer, this outstanding retailer has climbed to the pinnacle of the industry, dominating the $12 billion market sector.

With this prestigious award being the hardest on record to judge, the ARA reimagined the 2017 selection process to ensure this year’s methodology was not only credible but intellectually sound.

Russell Zimmerman, ARA Executive Director, said the unique process included three pillars of in-depth research to determine the 2017 Retailer of the Year Award.

“As the retail industry’s peak representative body, it is important that we recognise and celebrate these remarkable retailers’ success on the national stage that is the 2017 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“The exceptionally high standard of submissions we received this year was a profound reminder of the vibrant passion that encapsulates the retail industry.”

eftpos Managing Director, Bruce Mansfield, said eftpos was proud to support the Awards because they recognised the extraordinary work done by the hundreds of thousands of retailers who serve Australian communities every single day.

“Retail is an exceptionally important industry because it impacts all of our daily lives,” Mr Mansfield said.

“With the rise of international marketplaces, mobile platforms and the dynamic needs of modern shoppers, it will be extraordinary Australian retailers who continue to thrive in the shifting retail landscape.”

This year’s breakfast event was held at the National Gallery of Victoria with esteemed ABC journalist Beverley O’Connor hosting the Awards. Radek Sali of Swisse also entertained the 550 guests by sharing his incredible retail success as keynote speaker.

With 10 awards up for grabs at the Awards breakfast, the 2017 winners stood out from the retail crowd in each of their categories.

Mr Zimmerman said the overarching lesson from this year’s winners is both profound and powerful as the high standard of submissions and the quality of entries to the 2017 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards proved the retail sector’s strength and resilience.

“The future prosperity of the Australian industry doesn’t lie in the challenges themselves, it lies in how we choose to embrace them to move retail forward.”

2017 eftpos ARA AUSTRALIAN RETAIL AWARDS WINNERS

EFTPOS RETAILER OF THE YEAR
WINNER: OFFICEWORKS
RUNNERS UP: DAN MURPHY’S, BUNNINGS WAREHOUSE, JB HIFI, ALDI AUSTRALIA, IKEAEFTPOS INDEPENDENT RETAILER OF THE YEAR
WINNER: THE PARTY PEOPLE
RUNNER UP: NIMBLE ACTIVEWEAR

FRONTLINE RETAIL EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR
WINNER: ALDI AUSTRALIA
RUNNER UP: PEREGRINE CORPORATION

PRONTO SOFTWARE RETAIL DISRUPTOR OF THE YEAR
WINNER: AIRBNB AUSTRALIA
RUNNER UP: CRUST GOURMET PIZZA BAR

TEMANDO OMNI-CHANNEL RETAILER OF THE YEAR
WINNER: EB GAMES
RUNNER UP: PETSTOCK

SHOP-FOR-SHOPS RETAIL STORE FIT-OUT OF THE YEAR 1-5 STORE
WINNER: NIMBLE ACTIVEWEAR
RUNNER UP: LUC HOMEWARES AND DESIGNSHOP-FOR-SHOPS RETAIL STORE FIT-OUT OF THE YEAR 6+ STORE
WINNER: READINGS DONCASTER & READINGS KIDS
RUNNER UP: AMART FURNITUREREST INDUSTRY SUPER INDIVIDUAL RETAILER OF THE YEAR
WINNER: DEAN SALAKAS, THE PARTY PEOPLE
RUNNER UP: KELSEY SUBRITSKY, PANDORA

THE REALISE GROUP PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
WINNER: MYER
RUNNER UP: BUNNINGS WAREHOUSE

ARA RETAIL INSTITUTE CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AWARD
WINNER: HILL STREET

FCB GROUP RETAIL HR RISING STAR OF THE YEAR
WINNER: SHALYSSE ROMER, HUGO BOSS

2017 ARA RETAIL HALL OF FAME AWARD
WINNER: WILSON RETAIL

About the eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards:

First held in the 1970s, the eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards are the nation’s longest running and most prestigious retail event, recognising and rewarding outstanding retail businesses, innovations, and individuals across all sectors of retail. Relaunched in 2008, the annual 2017 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards breakfast will commence on Thursday 3 August at Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria.

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

For interview opportunities contact the ARA Media team on 0439 612 556 or email media@retail.org.au.

Source: Australian Retailers Association

The Australian Retailers Association commends NSW Government for delivering infrastructure Budget

Melbourne, Australia, 2017-Jun-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has commended the NSW Government for delivering a Budget that focuses on infrastructure, while running a surplus in 2016-17.

ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman said the NSW State Budget builds on economic strength for the state, assisting retail sales growth while supporting retail businesses and employment through continued skills funding and tax relief.

“The 2017-18 Budget released today (June 20, 2017) focuses on delivering infrastructure projects that NSW communities need, with long term holes in infrastructure slowly being fixed for the first time in decades,” Mr Zimmerman said.

From January next year, businesses with an annual turnover of less than $2 million will be exempt from paying duties on insurance for work vehicles, professional indemnity and public liability.

The ARA also welcomes the increased support for the Business Connect Programme in helping small businesses to plan and adapt.

“As always, the industry needs the Government to further reduce business taxes to sustain retail growth,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“The tax cuts on business transactions is an important step for retailers making decisions to improve their operations.”

The ARA further congratulates the NSW Government for their $96 million commitment to the Jobs for NSW initiative which ARA members have participated in to stimulate jobs growth across NSW.

Retailers will also welcome stamp duty cuts with exemptions for homes worth up to $650,000, and discounts for purchases up to $800,000 for new homebuyers as these initiatives will stimulate consumer spend.

“These business cuts, along with the homebuyers’ stamp duty cuts will help grow retail spend across the industry,” Mr Zimmerman said.

-ends-

For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call: The ARA Media Line T: 0439 612 556 E:media@retail.org.au

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

SOURCE: Australian Retailers Association

ARA applauds the Parliament for implementing fairer tax system for Australian retailers

Melbourne, Australia, 2017-Jun-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) congratulate the Parliament for passing the low-value GST for offshore tangible goods under $1000 as this legislation will improve tax fairness for Australian retailers.

Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA said they have been working with the Federal and State Governments since 2008 to reduce the Low Value Threshold (LVT) and provide a level playing field for Australian retailers.

“Today the Australian retail industry received a big win, as this much-needed GST will significantly assist our local retailers when trading against our international counterparts,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“This new legislation will create a fairer tax system for Australian retailers who are currently operating in a tough trading environment.”

The ARA congratulate the Parliament for passing this Bill but are extremely disappointed that the legislation won’t be implemented until 1 July 2018.

“We are disappointed there will be a 12 month delay before overseas retailers start collecting this tax, but we look forward to Australian retailers finally being given a fair chance,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“This legislation will mean our local retailers will be able to trade on the same level playing field as our international competitors.”

The ARA will continue to work with the Government and Productivity Commission to seek the most efficient system in collecting this GST.

“We will be talking to our members to ensure this legislation is implemented correctly,” Mr Zimmerman said.

-ends-

For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmermancall the ARA Media Line on 0439 612 556, or emailmedia@retail.org.au

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

SOURCE: Australian Retailers Association

ARA: National Minimum Wage increase of 3.3% will stifle jobs growth within the retail sector

Melbourne, Australia, 2017-Jun-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) are extremely concerned, the National Minimum Wage increase of 3.3% announced today (June 6, 2017) by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) will stifle jobs growth within the retail sector.

The FWC today (June 6, 2017) announced the National Minimum Wage will increase to $694.90 per week, or $18.29 per hour from 1 July 2017. This is an increase of $22.20 per week and an increase of 59 cents per hour.

ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman said Australian retailers are already facing a complex operating environment and this increase will be extremely harmful to the growth and stability of the Australian retail industry.

“Today’s Minimum Wage increase of 3.3% will suppress the benefits achieved by the penalty rates reduction, negatively affecting increased trading hours for retailers and further delaying employment growth across the sector,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“With the inherent weakness in today’s economic climate, along with tax increases about to hit consumers, this upsetting increase will strongly impede on employment growth within the industry.”

Given economic uncertainties, historically low inflation along with rising costs for retailers, the ARA believe there will be real concerns for retail growth across Australia.

The ARA believes their proposed Minimum Wage increase of 1.2% would have the best way to preserve employment within the retail sector and are disappointed that the Fair Work Commission did not take into account the weak economic trading conditions when making their decision.

“Our members are constantly experiencing significant cost pressures through international competition and advances in technology therefore we believe this wage increase is unfavourable for all businesses operating in the retail sector,” Mr Zimmerman said.

-ends-

For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call the ARA Media Line on 0439 612 556, or emailmedia@retail.org.au

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

SOURCE: Australian Retailers Association

Australian Retailers Association proposed further changes to the 457 visa reform ensuring the longevity of Australian retail

Melbourne, Australia, 2017-Jun-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has proposed further changes to the 457 visa reform in a submission to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) ensuring the longevity of Australian retail.

ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman said the ARA have long been advocating for its members on skills shortages in the local labour market and the costly flow-on effect of doing business in a competitive global market.

“Australian retailers are currently challenged by the availability of local talent to fill buying, planning and online roles in the industry,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“We have been consulting the Government and advocating for formal training and professional development options for retail employees, to support future careers in Australian retail.”

The ARA strongly believe the ability for Australian retailers to compete in a dynamic global market, and continue to employ Australian workers directly correlates with access to specialised talent.

“The recent changes to the 457 visa program have restricted Australian retailers in accessing specific roles required in modern day retailing, further crippling the growth and development of local retail talent,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Working with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) the ARA surveyed its members on how the 457 visa changes will have a major impact on future business growth, securing retail talent, promoting local employees and international competitiveness.

The survey identified Retail Buyers, Merchandise Planners, Merchandise Designers and Digital Commerce as four critical roles required in contemporary retailing and assisted the ARA in formulating an accurate response to the Department on the proposed 457 visa changes to ensure current and future applicants for these particular roles are not affected.

The ARA’s submission highlights the adverse effects to the sector caused by the removal of certain retail occupations and asks the Department to reinstate the Retail Buyer to the Short Term Skilled Occupation List.

The submission further seeks a more sophisticated and inclusive approach in identifying strategic retail occupations prior to any reforms being implemented and recommends a pathway for highly skilled visa holders in key retail categories to be offered permanent residency.

Taking a longer-term view, the ARA supports the development and implementation of HECS-HELP for tertiary qualifications to support careers in Australian retail.

Mr Zimmerman said the ARA look forward to working with the Department to develop local retail talent through relevant tertiary studies which will in turn guide the future of Australian retail.

“As skilled retail employees are an enormous asset to the industry, the ARA will work with the Government to future proof Australian retail talent.”

To view the ARA’s full submission to the DIBP please click here.

-ends-

For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmermancall the ARA Media Line on 0439 612 556, or emailmedia@retail.org.au

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

SOURCE: Australian Retailers Association

ARA Executive Director: retailers expecting to ramp up employment via quick transition to more sustainable penalty rates

Melbourne, Australia, 2017-Jun-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — While the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) welcomes the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) Penalty Rates Reduction decision, retail employers will be disappointed by the excessive length of the transitional arrangements handed down today (June 5, 2017).

ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman said retailers were expecting to ramp up employment via a quick transition to more sustainable penalty rates, though the announced arrangements will only hinder the immediate benefit to employment and growth within the sector.

“The Commission found that a reduction in penalty rates will allow retailers to extend staff working hours and increase employment across the board, therefore these sluggish arrangements will unnecessarily delay the creation of new retail jobs,”

“Retailers are already operating in a tough environment, and the ARA will be working with its members and legal providers to strongly defend the decision to ensure the implementation of Public Holiday rates from 1 July 2017,” Mr Zimmerman said.

The ARA will further challenge any attempt by the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) to defer the implementation of the Sunday penalty rates decision.

“The ARA will strongly oppose any application from the SDA for judicial review of the Sunday penalty rates decision, as this will only serve to prolong the benefits for retail employers, employees and overall industry growth.” Mr Zimmerman stated.

The ARA believes the Commission’s decision will be upheld in the Federal Court as the Union’s judicial review will risk all the benefits for Australian retailers, the unemployed and the broader Australian economy.

General Retail Industry Award 2010 Transitional Arrangements;

Category Previous
1 July 2017
1 July 2018
1 July 2019
1 July 2020
Permanent Sunday 200% 195% 180% 165% 150%
Casual Sunday 200% 195% 185% 175%

To arrange an interview with Mr Zimmerman, please call the ARA media team on 0439 612 556 or email media@retail.org.au

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

SOURCE: Australian Retailers Association

 

ARA urges Government to make cuts to concurrent spending instead of slugging consumers with a Medicare levy tax hike

ARA urges Government to make cuts to concurrent spending instead of slugging consumers with a Medicare levy tax hike

 

Melbourne, Australia, 2017-May-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) believe this year’s Federal Budget brings some relief for retailers through reducing Government debt, but at the undesirable cost of increasing taxes on Australian individuals and businesses.

While the ARA applauds the strong infrastructure investment and additional skills funding, the Government has missed the mark in focusing its strategy to return to surplus through additional taxation as opposed to cutting spending.

Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA said although the retail industry welcomed some of tonight’s Budget measures, the ARA urges the Government to make cuts to concurrent spending instead of slugging consumers with a Medicare levy tax hike.

“A tax, is a tax, is a tax, however you dress it up,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“The Medicare levy increase of 0.5 percent to fund the NDIS is just a tax hike in another form that will hit consumer pockets hard.”

The ARA believe the substantial levy on five of the biggest banks, in conjunction with stricter regulation, will go a long way to reduce Australian debt and hopefully stimulate a return to surplus if implemented correctly.

“Our concern with this strategy is that the costs will be passed on by the banks to everyday Australians and small businesses,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Without adequate safeguards to protect customers from these forwarded costs, we are cautious that this levy could prove counter-productive for retail growth.”

The ARA supports the Government’s continued Small Business Information Campaign which includes introduction of the GST low value goods, reducing company tax and extending the $20,000 instant asset write-off scheme for another 12 months.

However, Mr Zimmerman said the ARA is disappointed in the delay to the reduction of the low value threshold and the restricted application of the asset write-off scheme which excludes businesses beyond $10 million turnover.

On the other hand, the ARA congratulates the Government on additional funding and regulation of the Black Economy, and calls for cash alternatives to be regulated at a low cost.

The ARA further supports infrastructure investment, in particular the major projects including the Western Sydney Airport, Melbourne Tullamarine Airport Rail and other regional initiatives.

“These infrastructure projects will improve Australia’s business performance, entice international investors and achieve economic growth,” Mr Zimmerman said.

The ARA commends the additional skills funding in the 2017 Budget, urging the Government to work directly with retailers to address specific skill shortages which affect the core operations of retail businesses.

“On the whole, the 2017 Federal Budget is a step in the right direction for reducing Government debt and providing economic conditions conducive to reinvigorating growth in the retail sector,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Mr Zimmerman will be available for media comment and interviews at Parliament House in Canberra tonight following the Federal Budget announcement.

For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call the ARA Media Line on media@retail.org.au

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

SOURCE: Australian Retailers Association