Elimination of import tariffs will benefit retailers and consumers

Peak retail industry body, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has welcomed the government’s prebudget announcement to eliminate around 500 import tariffs as a step in the right direction to reduce unnecessary red-tape and improve costs for business and consumers.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said every little bit helps when it comes to reducing the cost of doing business for retailers.

“We are pleased to see some initiatives aimed at business in the Treasurer’s pre-budget announcement. The ARA has been a strong advocate for reduced import levies and reduced red tape for business.

“Whilst this tariff reduction will provide only modest cost relief for retailers, the simplified system will eventually have a flow on benefit to business productivity – a critical issue this year whilst retailers aim to get back on their feet.

“We look forward to the full details being revealed in May. With interest rate pressures having a lag effect, we know that households and retailers are feeling the biggest spending crunch right now. The cost of doing business remains at an all-time high for retailers – from energy, leasing and wages costs to continued supply chain pressures.

“We are keen to see much broader business measures from the government in this year’s Budget which bring significant and immediate relief,” said Mr Zahra.

In addition to cost-of-living measures which provide direct relief to households in need, the ARA has called the following measures in its pre-budget submission:

  • Improved supply chain resilience – including appointment of a National Supply Chain Commissioner.
  • Increased government investment in recycling infrastructure to allow Australia to successfully scale its recycling efforts.
  • Payroll tax taskforce to create better alignment between states and territories.
  • Small business measures including extending small business energy rebate and bonus tax deductions, to incentivise investment in measures that reduce energy consumption and costs.
  • Increasing the threshold for the small business tax rate is increased to cover businesses with revenues up to $100 million.
  • Workforce solutions including maintain the Work Bonus for aged pensioners and extend the Skills Checkpoint program for mature-aged workers.

The ARA’s full pre-budget submission can be found here.

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