Conservative Party's fears over retail tax grab realised as Amazon geoblocks Australia

June 01, 2018

The Conservative Party leader senator Cory Bernardi has today lamented that his worst fears - expressed during a June 2017 senate debate - have been realised with the Coalition's retail tax grab.

The Adelaide Advertiser newspaper reports that global online retailer Amazon will now geo-block Australian customers from 1 July in retaliation to the imposition of GST on the majority of purchases. They will be redirected to an Australian site where they will have to pay more for their goods.

During the Senate debate on the Bill on 19 June 2017, Senator Bernardi warned that the imposition of the great big new tax on consumers would result in higher prices for everyday Australians.

Senator Bernardi said "If the major parties were serious about ensuring a thriving retail sector in Australia, they would look towards cutting the regulation and bureaucracy attached to running, owning and operating a retail business in this country." He ridiculed the major parties for choosing, then, to impose a new tax instead of deregulating to help retail businesses under pressure from online purchasing.

The Conservative Party leader also highlighted that the measure was, in effect, a new protectionist tariff in direct contradiction of the free market principles espoused by many Liberal Party members.

As it did when the regime was created, the Conservative Party opposes the big new retail tax grab and condemns the Labor and Liberal parties for the chaos that will now ensue from Amazon - and potentially many others - discriminating against Australian customers buying on their websites.

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