Just how absurd the Low Value Good GST is

The extract below is from Chris Berg and my submission to to Senate inquiry.

~~~+++~~~

To highlight the absurdity of the Bill, we make use of one of the examples set out in the Explanatory Memorandum (pg. 21).

Wei is a resident of Hong Kong who purchases a piece of artwork valued at $700 from a supplier in Vietnam. The supplier arranges for the delivery of the artwork to his niece Li who lives in Australia.

A supply of goods is a supply of low value goods if the customs value would have been $1,000 or less at the time when the consideration for the supply is first agreed. The artwork has a customs value of $700 and is therefore a low value good. The supply of this low value good is connected to the [Indirect Tax Zone], because it is a supply of a low value good that is purchased by a consumer and brought to the [Indirect Tax Zone] with the assistance of the supplier. Wei is not registered for GST and is therefore a consumer for the purposes of the GST law. The geographical location of Wei, being outside Australia, is irrelevant.

Accordingly, the supply of the artwork is connected with the [Indirect Tax Zone].

At present the gift to Li is GST-free. It is proposed that the GST should apply to the gift. Yet neither the artist nor the purchaser is resident in Australia. Clearly the government have decided that having the gift held at Customs until Le pays the A$70 is neither financially viable nor practical. If Wei were to travel to Australia bringing the gift with him, it would remain GST-free and similarly were he ask a family member or friend to bring the gift to Australia it would also remain GST-free. It becomes taxable simply because it was brought to Australia with the assistance of the seller. The point to understand is that the tax liability is generated by the mechanism whereby the good or service enters Australia. (In this instance the artwork becomes taxable in Australia depending upon whether a related service, i.e. the transport of the artwork, is offered by the supplier.)

Now consider whether the artwork would attract GST if it were sold in Australia. If it was bought from a for-profit business with a turnover in excess of A$75,000 it would attract the GST. Yet if it were purchased from an artist with an income of less than $75,000 it would be GST-free. A Vietnamese artist with an income of greater than A$75,000 would be a wealthy artist indeed. The next point to understand then, is that this new tax brings foreigners into the Australian GST tax system where Australians would be exempted. This constitutes a discriminatory tax on foreigners that would not equally apply to Australians.

Imagine now that Wei bought the artwork from the Vietnamese supplier over an electronic distribution platform. Imagine further that the electronic distribution platform is a reputable business located in, say, the United States. This US firm is now liable for the Australian GST because a Hong Kong Chinese national traded with a Vietnamese national who transported a A$700 artwork as a gift to Australia. Again, if the artwork were transported to Australia via a family member or friend, the US electronic distribution platform would not be liable for the GST. The operation of the tax seems very arbitrary, and somewhat voluntary. Ironically, the new tax is being promoted as a mechanism to overcome arbitrariness. As Myer chairman Paul McClintock has argued:

It’s absolutely crazy that you pay different tax depending on where you buy a product from,” Mr McClintock told the Financial Review. “We are now in a completely seamless market. You can sit in your home and order from one site and it’s taxed, and another and it isn’t. That’s balmy. It’s outrageous.

It is not clear, from the government’s own example, that this new tax resolves the outrageous and balmy situation that Mr McClintock identifies. If anything it is now worse. (As an aside, we suspect Mr McClintock would never agree that his landlord should be responsible Myer’s tax liabilities – yet that is what this new tax would imply were applied to his business).

Then there are questions as to the administration of the new tax. Let us assume for arguments sake that the reputable US electronic distribution platform does (somehow) collect the GST from Wei and passes it onto the Australian Taxation Office. Then the new tax will have operated as planned. But what happens if Wei and the Vietnamese supplier transact via a disreputable electronic distribution platform? This electronic distribution platform could, for example, simply not collect the GST or it could collect the GST and not transmit it to the Australian Taxation Office. What mechanism would the Australian Taxation Office have to enforce compliance with Australian law? How would the Australian Tax Office even know that a tax fraud had occurred?

Compliance with this law appears to be somewhat voluntary and arbitrary. The Australian Tax Office has no authority or power to audit any of the participants to the transaction nor is it likely to have any authority or power to audit the electronic distribution platform. To be clear – the example above is one given by the government to illustrate how the new tax is to operate. The fact that it is so easily reduced to an absurdity demonstrates the fragility of the rationale for the tax.

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63 Responses to Just how absurd the Low Value Good GST is

  1. Mike of Marion

    “No worries Professor Davidson,

    Your joint submission is noted!

    We, the government, in concert with the Opposition, the Greens, Hinch and Xenephon dismiss any attempt to frustrate the Gerry Harvey tax system he wants introduced.”

  2. Senile Old Guy

    Good post.

    It is insanity. I collect books written by a certain British author. I am not a collector of first editions or expensive books. I am interested in the stories. My best source is a small UK company which specialises in second hand books by certain authors. It is not uncommon for shipping and postage to cost more than the book, although the price I pay for the book will usually be more than the original price (it depends on the rarity of the title).

    And the LNP want to charge GST on these purchases? As Sinc says, how is this going to work?

  3. This should be called the Gerry Harvey Tax.

  4. EvilElvis

    Ah, the so called Gerry Harvey tax.

    At least his franchisees hire people, rent or construct premises to run business from and provide multiple opportunities for the government to get their pound of flesh.

    If the LNP was serious they’d leave the whole thing alone and start returning our hard earned through tax cuts to businesses on the ground here in Australia. It’s just adding regulation to even up a playing field that is skewed due to over taxing.

  5. Cynic of Ayr

    Lemme get this straight.
    IF I buy an article from overseas, for $1,100.00, I have to pay GST. How? How do I pay GST on my Eleven Hundred Dollar article? Does Customs come knocking on my door?
    IF I by an article from overseas, for $800.00, I don’t have to pay GST. How? How do I dodge the GST on my eight Hundred dollar article? It just arrives, no Customs knocking at all.
    IF, there is some mechanism that the Government operates to pry the GST out of my wallet for the first article, why can’t they do it for the second?
    It seems to be that, buried somewhere in a few thousand lines of GST Tax law, there is a figure “$1000.00.” So… why not just rub it out, and write in a smaller amount.
    It seems to me that all the complaints, theories, examples and moaning about the $999 articles, applies also to the $1001 dollar articles. How can a difference of $2 dollars make such a fuss?

  6. Felix Kruell

    Yet if it were purchased from an artist with an income of less than $75,000 it would be GST-free. A Vietnamese artist with an income of greater than A$75,000 would be a wealthy artist indeed. The next point to understand then, is that this new tax brings foreigners into the Australian GST tax system where Australians would be exempted. This constitutes a discriminatory tax on foreigners that would not equally apply to Australians.

    No, the vietnamese supplier that doesn’t hit the $75k annual threshold would also not be liable for GST. So this new law is quite equal in its treatment of all suppliers (if anything, giving a benefit to suppliers in countries where a AUD$75k turnover would be hard to satisfy).

    And actually, the ATO has *some* powers to audit and enforce overseas, by virtue of our tax treaties. How well this works in practice will be interesting.

  7. Felix Kruell

    Cynic of Ayr:

    Yes, if it’s more than $1,000 now, customs will stop delivery until you pay GST. If they lower that number, customs will be making a lot more phone calls. That’s why the original PC reviews on this said the costs would outweigh the extra revenue collected.

    This law instead levied the tax on the supplier, not the customer (for goods under $1,000). So Amazon will pay the GST on your $800 article, and you will continue to pay the GST on your $1,100 article.

  8. Alan Moran

    The objections to the tax seem to be threefold. One is an objection to all taxes, which is fair enough but unless you also remove the tax from Australian natives they are in a prejudiced position.

    A second argues that the $75,000 income ceiling should be applied equally. That is also fair enough and applicable to the now famous Vietnamese artist but most of the imported low value items come in competition to those supplied by Bunnings and others who have to pay GST

    A third says the collection costs exceed the benefits. That is of course true of a great many taxes but exemptions for this reason lead people into shifting themselves into the exempt categories. While an extreme example, who could ever forget the 10 BA tax credit on Australian films that was to have cost a trivial $10 million but ended up costing $1 billion?

  9. Speedbox

    “This should be called the Gerry Harvey Tax.”

    Yep, absolutely. And it is riddled with compliance and enforcement issues.

    “This electronic distribution platform could, for example, simply not collect the GST or it could collect the GST and not transmit it to the Australian Taxation Office” and “The Australian Tax Office has no authority or power to audit any of the participants to the transaction….”

    My guess is that the payment of the GST (if requested by the seller) will represent a windfall for that seller. There are countless small businesses in the world with turnover exceeding the $AU75,000 GST threshold and, whose products cost less than $AU1,000 and, who ship their products to Australian consumers as retail sales. Do you think they are even aware of Australian GST? Even if they are, do you think they will register with the ATO and/or remit the GST collected? How will anyone know?

    Gerry Harvey’s self-serving and irrational bleating may result in a stupid system devised by dopes who think low value international trade by consumers is confined to eBay or Amazon.

  10. Sinclair Davidson

    No, the vietnamese supplier that doesn’t hit the $75k annual threshold would also not be liable for GST.

    I don’t think so – the law makes the transport of the goods liable for the 10% of the sales price of the goods. If the electronic platform does more that $75,000 of business with Australia the seller is liable irrespective of their own income.

  11. Squirrel

    Sounds like we’re back into the realms of decorated vs. undecorated birthday cakes, and how many GST collectors can dance on the head of a pin.

  12. Sinclair Davidson

    we’re back into the realms of decorated vs. undecorated birthday cakes

    Yep.

    We’re also likely to be in a position where the government may be borrowing money to collect tax revenue at a loss.

  13. Felix Kruell

    Sinc:

    Either the supplier has to hit the $75k threshold, if they’re the ones bringing the goods to Australia.

    OR if an electronic platform or re-delivery service is involved, that entity has to hit the $75k threshold. In which case that entity (not the supplier) is liable for GST.

    So in your example, the vietnamese artists won’t be liable for GST if they sell the art. But if they sell it via Ebay, then Ebay might be liable for GST.

  14. duncanm

    The fact that it is so easily reduced to an absurdity demonstrates the fragility of the rationale for the tax.

    I suspect you misunderstand the rationale.

    It is to hoover up as much tax as possible; it is not to be fair and equitable.

  15. Sinclair Davidson

    Felix – yes. That is correct.

    That is NOT how the Australian GST operates. Not at all. That is why Chris and I are arguing this is a new tax that the Australian government is trying to hoodwink us into thinking is simply extending the GST. Under the GST the seller would be liable for the GST if and only if they had an income above $75,000. Under the new tax the platform is liable for the tax even if the seller has no income above $75,000 but should try to recover the tax payment from the seller or buyer as the case may be. If the trasnaction took place over the phone, would the phone company be liable for the tax. (No. Not under the legislation but for consistency, it should be.)

  16. Squirrel

    “We’re also likely to be in a position where the government may be borrowing money to collect tax revenue at a loss.”

    Shhh – you’ll remind them of the need to factor-in full cost recovery (and then some) when setting the GST collection fees!

  17. Sinclair Davidson

    It is to hoover up as much tax as possible; it is not to be fair and equitable.

    Not according to the government – they claim this tax will raise less that 0.2% of the current GST tax take.

  18. duncanm

    So what is their excuse?

    Is it just a smoke screen to be ‘seen to be doing something’ – along the lines of tax the rich, hit the multinationals, abolish negative gearing, etc etc.

  19. EvilElvis
    #2357314, posted on April 18, 2017 at 3:28 pm
    Ah, the so called Gerry Harvey tax.

    At least his franchisees hire people, rent or construct premises to run business from and provide multiple opportunities for the government to get their pound of flesh.

    But how many people buy fridges, TVs, lounge suites, beds etc via eBay from some individual in China?

    I can buy an LED torch for $5 from eBay, but if I wanted the same torch from Jaycar, it would cost $30 (I’ve been there). Jaycar buys the same torches in the 1000s for a fraction of the price and adds a ‘small’ amount for the overhead.

    In reality, I buy a lot of stuff from eBay Australian sellers (who buy in bulk from China et al), but there are often many very cheap and simple items that are simply not available anywhere in Australia. If eBay closes shop, then so many things become unavailable to Australians. I also buy stuff from the UK via eBay, because you can’t find some stuff in Australia, like simple brass fittings.

  20. RobK

    Thanks Sinc for putting in the submission. You’re stating the obvious with each point. Sadly, that doesn’t mean the problem won’t be addressed by papering over more convoluted legislation that is retrograde for everyone including Mr Harvey. The price difference (as you showed in your previous post) is far more than the 10%gst. The few items I purchase via eBay the price difference is in the 100s %, as much as ten fold.

  21. The other thing to note is that, as with the likes of Netflix and such, all that you need is a VPN and you can use an international eBay store to buy and send to Australia. This is if eBay and Amazon close shop in Australia. Or will Australia Post be required to investigate every item sent to an individual from an overseas source?

  22. RobK

    Disruptive technology: today many people have paid to have a shop front from around the world on their PCs tablets and phones.

    The investment in enabling technology (viz. ISP etc) generates GST.
    Since the 80s I have chosen to upgrade my digital technologies every few years. In theory at least, this should have greatly increased the efficiency of the tax take by virtue of electronic lodgement and banking, still they need more. When will it end.

  23. Senile Old Guy

    We’re also likely to be in a position where the government may be borrowing money to collect tax revenue at a loss.

    OMG! I had not thought of that!

  24. Felix Kruell

    Sinc – Agree to an extent.

    For perfect consistency, you would make the platform figure out which sellers exceed the threshold, and which don’t (and only pay GST on sales by those who do). That adds (even more) compliance cost onto the platform though. So I can see why they decided to simply apply a single threshold to the platform for all their supplies.

    They are effectively deeming the artist to sell to the platform (no GST because under the threshold), then deeming the platform to sell to the Australian consumer (GST payable, because the platform exceeds the threshold).

    That isn’t unprecedented in the GST Act – taxis are forced to register/pay GST regardless of turnover.

  25. RobK

    I would add Harvey Norman has been a beneficiary of the sale of digital equipment.

  26. Sinclair Davidson

    That isn’t unprecedented in the GST Act – taxis are forced to register/pay GST regardless of turnover.

    Yes – the Australian government forcing Australians to comply with strange features of its own tax law is one thing. Forcing foreigners to do the same is another. Wait until foreign governments force Australians to comply with the strange features of their tax laws.

  27. OneWorldGovernment

    Sinclair,

    If I am based overseas and sell > $75,000 of goods or services that retail <$1,000 to only Australian purchasers and collect and remit 10% GST to the Australian Government why can't I claim offsetting taxes I may pay.

    Example Philippines has 12% (12.5%?) Sales Tax.

  28. Sinclair Davidson

    If I am based overseas and sell > $75,000 of goods or services that retail <$1,000 to only Australian purchasers and collect and remit 10% GST to the Australian Government why can't I claim offsetting taxes I may pay.

    Because despite them claiming this is a GST, it doesn’t work like the GST at all.

    [Also, I suspect the goods would count as a Philippines export and they would refund the previously paid tax – if they operated a VAT style sales tax].

  29. Felix Kruell

    Sinc:

    Wait until foreign governments force Australians to comply with the strange features of their tax laws.

    I believe we already are forced to do so – if you try to sell intangible goods to EU citizens, you are forced to register and pay VAT at the rate that applies in your customer’s home country. Our new laws are largely based on these new EU rules.

  30. Art Vandelay

    MT is the PM.

    This policy disaster was cooked up when Abbott was PM by the economic illiterate Josh Frydenberg.

  31. OneWorldGovernment

    Sinclair Davidson
    #2357470, posted on April 18, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    If I am based overseas and sell > $75,000 of goods or services that retail <$1,000 to only Australian purchasers and collect and remit 10% GST to the Australian Government why can't I claim offsetting taxes I may pay.

    Because despite them claiming this is a GST, it doesn’t work like the GST at all.

    [Also, I suspect the goods would count as a Philippines export and they would refund the previously paid tax – if they operated a VAT style sales tax].

    I’ll assume that your last sentence is correct but I still have to negotiate with the Philippine Govt to convince them that 1/11th of my sales, 100% to Australia, is not income and the 1/11th that I send to the Australian Govt is a legitimate deduction from my Philippine Income.

  32. OneWorldGovernment

    What the bottom line is about is who in their right mind would want to do business with Australia when even the so called pro business party can only think of raising taxes and energy costs.

  33. Sinclair Davidson

    I still have to negotiate with the Philippine Govt to convince them that 1/11th of my sales, 100% to Australia, is not income and the 1/11th that I send to the Australian Govt is a legitimate deduction from my Philippine Income.

    Good luck with that – I don’t fancy your chances though.

  34. cynical1

    It seems to me that all the complaints, theories, examples and moaning about the $999 articles, applies also to the $1001 dollar articles. How can a difference of $2 dollars make such a fuss?

    Well what about the more prevalent smaller items?

    You really want to start paying people to administer GST on $5 fishing lures?
    CDs, books and other trinkets?

  35. OneWorldGovernment

    Sinclair Davidson
    #2357496, posted on April 18, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    I still have to negotiate with the Philippine Govt to convince them that 1/11th of my sales, 100% to Australia, is not income and the 1/11th that I send to the Australian Govt is a legitimate deduction from my Philippine Income.

    Good luck with that – I don’t fancy your chances though.

    Sinc

    In my indirect and roundabout way that’s what I’m getting at.

    I agree with you and Chris, it is a new tax and it will render ALL overseas tax agreements that Australia has with other countries NULL & VOID.

  36. cynical1

    It is insanity. I collect books written by a certain British author. I am not a collector of first editions or expensive books. I am interested in the stories. My best source is a small UK company which specialises in second hand books by certain authors.

    There is no GST on 2nd hand goods.

  37. Sinclair Davidson

    In my indirect and roundabout way that’s what I’m getting at.

    Yes – I understood that.

  38. Sinclair Davidson

    There is no GST on 2nd hand goods.

    My understanding is that those good will be taxed under this proposal even though similar goods in Australia would not be taxed. Again – this points to this being a new tax, not an extension of the existing GST.

  39. OneWorldGovernment

    ring…ring…
    MT: er is that the um President?
    DT: Listen buddy I’m waiting to talk to the PM of Australia. Who are you?
    MT: I’m the PM of Australia and
    DT: ahh g’day Tony. How you doing?
    MT nono Mr President it’s Malcolm. Malcolm Turnbull.
    DT: what do you want now?
    MT: just thought I’d let you know my government has passed a law that any American business that sells goods to Australia under a AUD$1,000 has to send 1/11th of the sale to us and …. hullo Mr President… Mr President.

    Nikki Savva: In robust talks with the American President Prime Minister Turnbull emphasised that American companies have to collect GST on behalf of the Australian Government.

    Sherridan: In a surprise move all American troops have been withdrawn from Australia and US fleet port visits to Australia have been cancelled.

  40. Art Vandelay

    What the bottom line is about is who in their right mind would want to do business with Australia when even the so called pro business party can only think of raising taxes and energy costs.

    Prepare to be shafted by the Liberals yet again:

    Government plans to abolish standard unleaded fuel

    Australian motorists face being slugged an extra 12 cents a litre under a Turnbull Government proposal to abolish standard unleaded fuel within the next two years.

    Yet the Liberals can’t work out why they’re so unpopular.

  41. Senile Old Guy

    There is no GST on 2nd hand goods.

    My understanding is that those good will be taxed under this proposal even though similar goods in Australia would not be taxed. Again – this points to this being a new tax, not an extension of the existing GST.

    I can’t see how it would not be charged. The books are coming from a private company that sells books. If it isn’t charged, because the books are second hand, then it would seem to be an even bigger nightmare to manage: it would only be charged on items shipping to Australia.

  42. Felix Kruell

    Cynical:

    There is GST on second hand goods sold in Australia in the same way as there is for new goods. In both cases, subject to the seller being registered for GST (because they do it as part of a business and exceed the $75k threshold).

    These new rules will hit second hand goods in the same way as new goods as well.

  43. egg_

    At least his franchisees hire people, rent or construct premises to run business from and provide multiple opportunities for the government to get their pound of flesh.

    As others have posited – is his online biz undermining his franchisees?

  44. Paul Ivancic

    Hi mate, I’m confused – using the same example, but the Artwork was worth $2000 – would the GST apply?

    It sounds like its an existing problem, but will just apply to a larger number of items?

  45. Rebel with cause

    So if family in the USA order me a gift from US Amazon website, to be shipped to me in Australia, they have to pay GST? That seems absurd and incogrous with refunding foreign travellers for GST on departure at our airports.

  46. Tel

    Rebel:

    The family in the USA tosses away the original box (very important, never ship in original box) and then wraps it in coloured paper nicely by hand and repacks in bubble wrap. After that the item is second hand.

  47. Rebel with cause

    So basically it’s an import tariff that the Government is too lazy to collect itself so is instead asking the private sector to do so ‘voluntarily’? Go figure.

  48. Snoopy

    Oh no! EBay threatens to spit the dummy.

  49. Tel

    If it isn’t charged, because the books are second hand, then it would seem to be an even bigger nightmare to manage: it would only be charged on items shipping to Australia.

    I thought the nightmare factor was intentional.

  50. Turnip

    The family in the USA tosses away the original box (very important, never ship in original box) and then wraps it in coloured paper nicely by hand and repacks in bubble wrap. After that the item is second hand.

    I can envisage that Fedex, Toll, UPS etc will just notify the ATo of all packages that have any sort of “possibly taxable” items using the insured value declared. They will just refuse delivery until paid.

    They do this now if they suspect items are over $1000 and charge a “handling” fee.

  51. Howard Hill

    Gerry Harvey can go suck a rotten egg. I’ll still buy from Ebay or whoever online because even with an extra 10% GST added, it’s still 600% cheaper and online overseas businesses don’t have the GAR tax ( Great Australian Ripoff tax ), so it’s a win, win. And the parasites spending a thousand to collect ten will only ensure their death at the trough faster. Are you sick of the winning yet?

  52. True Aussie

    Sinc, how is it a free market if I am forced to price my goods 10% higher than someone from overseas selling the same goods?

  53. True Aussie

    Sinc, how is it a free market if I am forced to price my goods 10% higher than someone from overseas selling the same goods?

  54. Jack

    It is a no brainer that the get threshold is lowered on online purchases. Offshore companies laugh at us behind closed doors. USA, UK et al have similar taxes, why wouldn’t Australia have a level playing field? A primary school child would understand the sense in this move. Not sure why a straw man is thrown up on this one…

  55. Walter Plinge

    I’ve just ordered a number of items from Amazon US. There will be five shipments totalling some $US $250. Under the new system I would be levied GST on these if I had them posted to me here in Australia. However I’m travelling to the US next month and have had them delivered to my friend’s house. GST-free under the new system.

  56. OneWorldGovernment

    Jack
    #2357699, posted on April 18, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    It is a no brainer that the get threshold is lowered on online purchases. Offshore companies laugh at us behind closed doors. USA, UK et al have similar taxes, why wouldn’t Australia have a level playing field? A primary school child would understand the sense in this move. Not sure why a straw man is thrown up on this one…

    Why would you be bothered with a minor diminishing GDP country like Australia?

  57. OneWorldGovernment

    Sinclair Davidson
    #2357511, posted on April 18, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    In my indirect and roundabout way that’s what I’m getting at.

    Yes – I understood that.

    My humble apologies.

  58. MD

    The only reason Australian businesses were disadvantaged by the GST threshold is that they were slow and inept at embracing online trading. This is gradually changing, so the threshold is really a moot point – for example, listen to the podcast of last night’s Ross Greenwood show, in which a large Australian online retailer said the 10% is really no big deal, particularly given the extra cost and delay in getting goods from overseas retailers.
    It is worth noting that it was the Howard government that gave us this great big new tax. It was campaigned on in the 1998 election, which is the election at which Labor, the coalition and the media conspired with each other to defeat One Nation. The election campaign period was a non-event, because no-one dared mention any issue that would give One Nation oxygen. The Howard government probably chose a GST for its campaign simply as a matter of expediency, it being a well-known maxim (originating from Nixon, I think) that you always campaign on an issue, even if it is an unpopular one.

  59. Decurium

    This suggested tax is nonsense – a grab for money that will produce very little tax revenue but will cause much inconvenience for ordinary Australians. But what do they matter?
    With regards to Paul McClintock’s comment, is he comparing the situation to a pleasantly warm tropical night (balmy), or to something crazy (barmy). The second is more likely. Note you have the same mistake repeated again in the text.

  60. Alex Davidson

    It’s a waste of time pointing out the flaws and inconsistencies of specific taxation proposals, because the whole edifice is based upon the exercise of force. Justice and reason play no part in it at all.

    Every extension to the plunder should be met with arguments against taxation itself: that it is a glaring double standard which sanctions theft when it is carried out by the government but not by individuals; that it sets precisely the wrong example for a peaceful and prosperous society because instead of respecting property rights, contract, and consent, it operates according to the principle ‘might is right’; that it is at an all-time high and the only thing the political class should be talking about it is reducing it.

    Debating detail tacitly sanctions taxation itself – exactly the trap our masters want us to fall into.

  61. Adelagado

    Theres an even simpler reason to ditch this idea. It won’t raise any extra revenue. Most purchases over $200 are probably being made by businesses. They will claim any extra GST as an input credit or a business expense.

  62. Crossie

    MT is the PM.

    This policy disaster was cooked up when Abbott was PM by the economic illiterate Josh Frydenberg.

    I would have thought Malcolm would have dropped it out of spite.

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