Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gerry Harvey critical of Australian GST tax structure

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Gerry Harvey and his partner have come out criticising the goods & services tax that they are obliged to pay. Their criticism against their detractors is based on the following arguments, which I have taken the time to correct.
1. They will be forced to shift to HK and give up Australian jobs. This is not a bad thing. The Australian labour market is not short on job opportunities. We have a high standard of living because these jobs are best performed in Asia where labour is cheap. So sack the staff; this might just compel them to get a more rewarding job. We don't need to be subsidising low-quality jobs.
2. Katie Page saids detractors are focused on the short term. Actually, she is not intellectually developed to know better. The issue is not job losses. All markets give up jobs in order to develop the skills for jobs which offer greater rewards. Sales people are no longer needed because there are online specs; warehousing staff are no longer required because these low-skill jobs are more easily handled in Asia, and orders 'drop shipped' to customers using mechanised Australia Post conveyor systems. In fact, its Gerry Harvey who has thought short term. He invested in all this store space and now he can find no use for it; and he wants the Australian taxpayer to subsidise his industry. He says its about 'protecting jobs', but he has scarcely commented on the tax system in the past, because he really is only interested in himself. He uses his public profile when it suits him; not because it helps Australians. This is disingenuous.
3. Gerry Harvey is hit by an unfair tax. Yes, it is true that Harvey Norman are unfairly hurt by the Australian tax system. That is correct. So he should fight to change the tax system, not to impose more tax. He should seek a fair tax, not simply one favourable to him. He should use his resources to challenge the deductions scheme which is really just a tax evasion system. There should be no deductions for 'deductibles', particularly in the modern era when they are so easily claimed for many expenses, when almost anything could be considered a deductible. Salary earners are the hardest impacted. Their PAYE payments are very high and unfair. Corporates get away with murder....not to say that they don't have a legitimate defence. The problem is the politicians who care little how they get it; and the system which allows them to place arbitrary impositions upon anyone...including Gerry. 
4. Appeals to 'un-Australian' are about as tiresome as 'white Australia' campaigns.
5. Page argues that we have to pay for the health/education system. No we don't. Not everyone. Not everyone is using these services...so why should they pay for them. Why can't the people who use them pay for them. No objection? Good. Its not like recipients are complaining...its the people who curtail their extravagant lives to save, who don't want their lot eroded by unfair taxes.

The state governments can be expected to support 'the Harvey tax increase' because its in their interests. You can be sure that the government will adopt the tax. 

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