Only a few hours after my controversial post yesterday (Why Lowering the GST Import Threshold is a Bad Move), Bicycles Industries Australia (BIA) came out with the following, somewhat disturbing, media release:
Bicycle sector pushes vital LVT discussions at Treasurers’ meetingBicycle Industries Australia today supported the news the low value threshold (LVT) is high on the agenda when the federal, state and territory Treasurers meet at the Standing Council on Federal Financial Relations later this week.
General Manager of Bicycle Industries Australia, Peter Bourke, said “We’ve long been working with the Federal and state governments to reduce the low value threshold and provide a level playing field for Australian retailers.”
“After three years of consultations, reviews and studies, it is well past time this issue was fixed.”
Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier this year show Australian consumers spent more than $7 billion shopping on overseas online stores during the 2012-13 financial year.
“ABS data clearly shows online purchases by Australian consumers are increasing exponentially. It’s time this GST loophole was closed.”
“The bicycle industry encourages the state and territory treasurers to make the case for lowering the threshold and work with the Federal government to implement the changes required,” Mr Bourke said.
“According to the LVT Taskforce report from 2012, if the threshold was lowered to $20, around $1 billion in GST could be collected in the 2014-15 financial year, which would go some way in assisting state governments to provide vital services like hospitals and schools.”
“Federal, state and territory treasurers have the opportunity to significantly assist their small business constituency. We urge them to do so at the meeting this week,” Mr Bourke said.
“No one is saying that reducing the LVT will solve all of the challenges faced by retailers, but what it will do is ensure retailers in Australia are not facing this unfair hurdle to sell to Australian customers.”
The BIA is the leading industry voice on issues impacting the health, trade, regulation and taxation of the Australian Bicycle Industry.
I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again, businesses putting businesses first is not the way to go. Businesses should be putting consumers opinions first. If a consumer comes up to me, emails me, tweets me, talks to me on a ride, whatever – I listen. At Mr Cycling World we actively collate data about our customers and we act to their demands accordingly.
While he may be right in pointing out that Australia could collect $1 billion/year in additional, Mr Bourke conveniently ignores the findings of the Productivity Commission who estimate it would actually cost Australian tax payers two to three times that amount to collect it in the first place. The argument posed by the BIA is therefore redundant already.
I would like to go on public record as saying Mr Cycling World Pty Ltd does not support the above views released by the BIA, and we are not a member of the BIA. We are not against the local bike shops in any respect, some of them can be very good. A quick look at the Board (of Directors, I assume) of the BIA indicates they each have a vested interest in protecting the businesses they are respectively involved in. This is not a sign of an effective organisation. To regain respect and develop some good ethics for a representational organisation like this, they should consider bringing in an independant co-opted member.
BIA Board Members (correct at time of publication):
Bicycle Parts Wholesale
Cannondale Sports Unlimited