Last week’s Federal Budget has failed to provide “long-lasting support” for struggling retailers, according to the Australian Retailers Association.
ARA president Roger Gillespie said retailers would view the Budget announcement with mixed feelings as it gave some relief to business and households but had fallen short as the scrapping of the promised one percent reduction in business tax showed government was financing a return to surplus by penalising business.
Gillespsie said retailers will benefit from inclusions such as “being able to immediately deduct asset costs under $6500” and the extension of the Small Business Advisory Service.
“Retailers will also benefit from the relief provided to low-to-middle income households through Family Tax A and the Schoolkids bonus, but ARA would also like to have seen these as tax cuts as well as provide a real difference in consumer confidence by putting more money into the pockets of upper and middle income earners,” he said.
“ARA is disappointed retailers will suffer from the abandonment of an important promised tax cut from 30 percent to 29 percent and shows small-to-medium businesses aren’t sharing in the benefits of the mining boom.
“ARA supports the announced tax loss carry back scheme but would like to have seen further initiatives to help retailers focus on growth.
“ARA is concerned the Government has given with one hand through initiatives for business and consumers but taken with the other with no compensation for the Carbon Tax or superannuation increases, which will hit retailer and consumer confidence once short term Budget benefits wear off.
“ARA supports and calls on cross benchers to support- a budget surplus. However, it’s a false economy to achieve surplus through pressure on vulnerable sections of the economy.”