The National Retail Association (NRA) has called for a national debate on meaningful tax reform, after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull flagged taking an increase in the GST to the polls.
NRA CEO Trevor Evans said tax reform was one possible way Australia could boost productivity and economic growth.
“We would strongly support any reform to reduce the overall tax burden for Australian households, but only if it leaves more money in consumers’ pockets,” he said.
“Any possible increase would need to be offset by the removal or reduction of less efficient taxes, such as payroll and income taxes, stamp duties and other government charges.
“Without offsetting measures to assist household budgets, we are very cautious 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.
“The NRA has been a loud voice for the retail sector on the prospect of future tax reform, so when it comes to possible change to any taxes, including the GST, and their impacts on business profitability, viability and job creation, we will continue to take these concerns to the federal Government to ensure the continuing viability of Australian retail businesses.”
Mr Evans has also welcomed Treasurer Scott Morrison’s indication he was examining important microeconomic reforms, which had been put to the Government in April as part of the Harper Review of Australia’s competition laws.