Monday, 24 August 2015

Let’s just ban online purchases outright, shall we?

Ah, now that their “discussion document” is out, I see that the Key Government will not actually be charging NZers GST if they purchase online from offshore suppliers. They will not actually be charging NZers GST if they purchase online from offshore suppliers, because the Key Government proposes that offshore suppliers with markets in the hundreds of millions will be required to register and return GST to the NZ IRD. And they will need to do that just in order to make some sales to, at most, a few hundred eager NZers.

And who would bother?

Which means that goods you do still purchase online from offshore suppliers will either be confiscated, or not be purchased because they will be confiscated. Which makes this proposal the erection of a consumer tariff wall in the most distant consumer goods market on the planet, at the very time when the same government is talking up a free-trade agreement.


  1. It's not *quite* that bad. They're proposing at least that firms doing less than some threshold level of business in NZ be exempt (with consultation on threshold). They're basically targeting Android Market, iTunes/iStore, and Netflix. They're very likely to sign on. Beyond that, though, agree.

    Note that this is entirely on intangibles and services thus far. The goods question is trickier.

  2. That's exactly the problem. They are targeting foreign business providing wanted business to NZers. Limiting the choice of NZers and manipulating trade w/o any foresight to the possible consequences. Competition is good. Ask North Korea. Well, the defectors, at least.

    1. US Congress is basically doing the opposite, which is equally ludicrous. I find that most members of govt know little about what they try to control. If they respect what they don't know, they might be wise enough to get out of the way and ride the wave.


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