Trevor Queen Street

This week I hosted follow up discussions with the office of the new Treasurer Scott Morrison. We discussed a number of topics including the implementation timeline for scrapping the GST Low Value Threshold, the need for further tax reform, and the Financial Systems Inquiry.

Regarding the costs of credit card facilities, the message from the Government – and indeed, the challenge to retailers – is very clear. This reform may proceed quite quickly.

As reported, the Treasurer is very sympathetic to the needs of retail businesses, however it is up to us to communicate a clear understanding of the true costs of credit card transactions – including the terminal, account charges and of course the interchange fees.

So very shortly you will receive a member survey, which I encourage you to complete.  The information you provide will form a strong basis for our submission to government on the issue.  You may also receive an invitation to a roundtable discussion, depending on where in Australia you are located.  Again, I urge you to participate if you can.  We only have one chance to make our voice heard on this subject.

Regarding the broader tax reform journey, the Prime Minister this week confirmed that an increase to the GST is in the mix of policy measures being considered as the government completes its Taxation White Paper.

The NRA will strongly support any reform to reduce the overall tax burden for Australian households, if it leaves more money in consumers’ pockets.  We are also cautious, however, that retailers may feel the upfront sting from any increase in retail prices, particularly given the tight competition and razor-thin margins in some product categories. We await the detail, of course, and will argue that any increase in the GST must be offset by reductions in payroll taxes, stamp duties, income taxes and other government charges.

The NRA will be a loud voice for retailers on the prospect of future tax reform. When it comes to possible changes to the GST – or other taxes for that matter – and the impacts on business profitability, viability and job creation, I invite you to contact me to share your thoughts. The NRA is your organisation, and we rely on your feedback to help formulate our positions for discussions with the Government.

Finally this week, it was pleasing to see the promised Boxing Day trading reforms being debated in the NSW Parliament. However, it was disappointing that the Opposition has said it will continue to block any change. It’s now up to the independent members in the upper house to decide the fate of the legislation.  There’s a list of the members here. The NRA will now shift its focus to the cross benchers and I urge NSW retailers to get in touch with them as well to make your views known.

Have a great week,


P.S. Remember to have a read of the rest of this week’s Week In Review here.