Federal Budget 2013
The disconnect between consumer confidence and the economic fundamentals continues and is unlikely to be improved by the 2013 budget - meaning once again, there is little joy for retailers, according to leading consulting and advisory firm Grant Thornton Australia.
The 2013 budget provides very few sweeteners for retailers, with little to provide a genuine boost to consumer confidence, according to Simon Trivett, National Retail Industry Leader at Grant Thornton Australia.
“No one would dispute the need and merit for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. How it is funded can and should be open to challenge. Whilst Myer chief Bernie Brookes came under intense criticism for his comments surrounding the impact of the impending Medicare levy increase on the retail sector, you can’t avoid the economic fact that taking money out of consumers’ pockets means they’ll be spending less in store.”
“The theme of driving productivity within the economy continued with no changes to the current GST threshold for goods purchased online and imported, despite consistent lobbying from retailers.”
“What the retail sector, if not the broader economy, needs are measures that restore confidence to consumers and puts disposable income back in their pockets. Frankly, lowering the GST threshold for online purchases doesn’t put money into consumers’ pockets, it simply redistributes it to the Government. That said it would at least have meant local retailers would feel the playing field is somewhat level,” said Trivett.
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Grant Thornton Australia provides audit, tax and advisory services to dynamic, growing organisations and is a single national firm, with over 150 Partners, more than 1,200 people across Australia and national turnover of AUD $232 million. Grant Thornton International is the fastest growing international accounting network in the world, with a global turnover of US$3.7billion and more than 30,000 people, and was recently named 2013 Network of the Year by the International Accounting Bulletin.