He’s at it again: Team Gerry Harvey just won’t shut up about GST.
The Chairman of Harvey Norman spoke out again yesterday on the GST loophole, which sees international e-tailers get away with paying tax on goods purchased under $1000 by Australians.
But this time, Harvey is turning on his own family, revealing even his own family are buying from overseas online, despite him and his wife Harvey Norman MD Katie Page vociferously campaigning the Federal government on the issue.
“They know how I feel but they save money on things like dresses. In the meantime someone’s losing their job,” Harvey said yesterday.
“They do it because it’s a lot cheaper. I can’t tell my own family ‘Don’t do that, it’s bad for the country.'”
Harvey claims the GST loophole is unfair to Aussie retailers who are forced to pay GST on all items purchased, thus gives them an unfair disadvantage and makes local pricing uncompetitive.
Mr Harvey is leading the protest on the GST issue among retailers for the past 18 months and pressurising the government to change the rules, calling for the threshold to be reduced to $30, meaning online goods from abroad may increase by as much as 10%.
But Harvey also appears to be suffering from a case of paranoia, as he is also suggesting the e-parcels filled with consumer durables like clothes, electronics and books coming through customs may contain something far more sinister.
“What’s coming in, in all these parcels? Have they got guns? Drugs? Prohibited things for agriculture? They’re not being checked. If I wanted to bring something illegal into Australia that’s the best way of doing it.”
Katie Page this week also warned retailers including Harvey Norman may be forced to leave Australia and move to low cost bases like Hong Kong if the GST rules are not changed.
There is a government taskforce currently investigating how to efficiently process thousands of parcels coming in from overseas each week, if the GST rules were to be altered.
The Low Value Parcel Processing (LVP) Taskforce report would require “significant change,” indicating it may be some time yet before the changes to GST are implemented, if at all.