Wednesday, 18 March 2015

GST online

This, from 2013, is topical again:

There are arseholes everywhere. One of them runs the Retailers Association.

John Albertson, Retailers Association CEO, wants to add a tariff to every single purchase you make on the internet—to make your books more expensive, your clothes more costly, your boots and shoes and software and music more pricy.

That’s why I call him an arsehole.

Internet retailing has been a boon for every New Zealand buyer. Instead of being restricted to just the few shops in our local area, we now have the whole of the world’s goods available at the click of a mouse, at the lower prices a worldwide market makes possible.

And since everyone at root is a consumer, in a rational world that should have all of us throwing up our hands with joy.

But not John.  John wants to put a stop to that forthwith. You see, purchases made from overseas buyers only attracts GST on amounts over $400. John reckons however you should pay Government Slavery Tax on every purchase made online.  Because by not taxing the buggery out of every New Zealand consumer, says this deluded fool, “we” are “subsidising overseas retailers to the tune of $200 million.”

“Subsidy” in this case meaning “paying them less.” 

What a moron.

John argues “we” should impose GST on every online purchase “so the government can clip the ticket on every sale.” He wants to punish you while, incidentally, helping his association’s members. (Or that’s what he thinks.)

How would this extra imposition be levied when it’s not just iniquitous but almost impossible to apply? PayPal would probably need to face up to its new role as an international tax collector, says The Arsehole. "PayPal are going to come up against this all around the world, so they may as well get used to the idea."

You can almost hear his heels clicking together.  Or the GCSB tapping your broadband connection.

Local retailers need to realise the world has changed—and maybe they should get in on it too. After all, if it’s now just as easy for a buyer in Ashburton to buy goods from Kiev, Khartoum or Kaliningrad, then it’s just as easy for an Ashburton retailers to send goods to those places as well. 

The internet revolution makes the whole world a NZ retailer’s online oyster, yet too many are too busy complaining their shot glasses are are half empty.

Maybe it’s because they’re taking advice from arseholes like John.

As someone commented at Kiwiblog. GST simply doesn’t work in a modern economy. Time to scrap it and run a smaller government.

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