Nationals Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie has called for a reduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) threshold on foreign imports and online purchases from A$1000 to A$20.
GST is currently only applied to online purchases of $1000 or more from foreign countries, making it easy to avoid paying the GST on goods from overseas.
Senator McKenzie said the Federal Government should to take immediate action to support a fair and equitable taxation system.
The Victorian National Party passed a motion to lower the GST threshold on imported goods to $20, at its State Conference in Mildura last week. The motion will be taken to the Federal National Party Conference in June.
The merit of this decision is mirrored in the findings of the Ernst & Young Report that was released this week.
The Ernst & Young report, commissioned by the Australian National Retailers Association, estimates that 33,400 jobs and $12 billion in retail sales would return to Australia if the $1000 GST exemption was reduced on imports.
“The growing trend to shop online will not decline as it is a product of increased flexibility and modern life. However the system must be fair to ensure a level playing field for more than 9000 retailers in regional Victoria who employ local people and invest in local real estate and resources.
“In our regional and rural electorates small family owned and run businesses are key drivers of our local economies. However the lack of fairness in the allocation of GST onto imports purchased online is a barrier to fair trade for these operators,” Senator McKenzie said.