The 2014 Budget talk of an inevitable rise in the GST highlights a serious issue for Australian business. The fact that consumers can import product under $1,000 seriously threatens our industry’s viability.

The AMA is adamant that this Low Value Threshold gives foreign companies an unfair competitive advantage in our market place. Unlike Australian companies, foreign companies do not have to charge 10% GST, immediately making local products that more expensive. Lower Sales! Lower Ability to Employ Australians!

This is before you consider that Australian music retail is buckling under the weight of high rents, low margins caused by low price international competition, and an uncompetitive labour market when compared to the US, our main competitor, with a market twelve, yes 12, times the size of ours.

We don’t mind competition, we just want it to be on a fair basis when it comes to our own taxation system!  Our members employ Australians. Not only are we not collecting GST of up to $800million a year, we are adding to the dole queues as our businesses close, and they have been closing at an alarming rate, said the AMA’s executive director, Rob Walker

“Our market is hard enough” said Brad Coates of Melbourne Music “without  our international competitors not having to charge the same taxation that we do”.

The AMA’s president, Tony Burn said “our association has been committed for some years to lowering the GST Threshold on imports. We call on the federal  government to acknowledge that the $1,000 Threshold captures 80% of our market price points, and help make Australian Music retail at least compete on a level playing surface with our international competitors”.

Our members already compete with lower wages and conditions, near parity dollar in recent years, lower rents, and the economies of scale of our largest competitor.

The Association calls on the federal government to lower the GST Threshold on Imports to a fair level.  One that can collect the maximum GST payable and one that supports small business to compete fairly with international businesses.