PARLIAMENT ACCEPTS LABOR'S POSITION ON THE GST LOW VALUE THRESHOLD
In a win for common sense, the Government has backed down and accepted Labor’s amendments to its GST Low Value Threshold legislation.
Labor’s amendments will see a delay the commencement of the legislation by 12 months and require the Productivity Commission conduct a short inquiry on implementation and other GST collection models, giving the Government and Parliament the opportunity to consider legislative amendments well before the new 1 July 2018 start date.
How did we get here? Scott Morrison’s sheer incompetence.
The Senate Economics Legislation Committee report into the GST Low Value Threshold legislation served as documentary proof of this incompetence, with stakeholder evidence almost reaching a consensus over problems with implementation, the vendor-based model and calls for a 12 month delay.
The appalling lack of consultation by the Government and mishandling of the legislation has meant that the Parliament had no choice but to intervene and to give the Government and stakeholders one final opportunity to get the GST collection model right.
Labor’s amendments will see the Productivity Commission – that is already well acquainted with the GST Low Value Threshold – complete a short study and consultation with stakeholders around the current model and how it compares with alternatives.
A Productivity Commission inquiry will allow stakeholders an opportunity for an independent hearing into their concerns and the merits or otherwise of other collection models, and if changes are recommended, there will be plenty of time for the Government and Parliament to work through legislative amendments ahead of a 1 July 2018 start-date.
This outcome is important to provide certainty for Australian consumers, for Australian retailers in search of a level playing field with offshore retailers, and for States and Territories who’ve budgeted for the additional GST dollars.