Business Advice

Businesses brace for higher energy costs … ATO warns Uber drivers … Vegemite to go global

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By Dominic Powell and Emma Koehn. 

A number of businesses have shared their concerns with Fairfax about incoming price increases for energy coming in from July 1, with Victorian business Wilson Transformer Co saying they were prepared for an 83% increase in energy costs, which chairman Robert Wilson said was a “shock”.

The total jump in cost for the company is estimated to be from around $800,000 to $1.5 million.

“We can’t change our prices because we are an import-export competing business so it’s just straight off the bottom line,” Wilson told Fairfax

AGL, Origin Energy and Energy Australia have all confirmed price rises in NSW, South Australia and ACT from July 1.

Many other businesses have shared their woes, but the worst is yet to come, according to chief executive of electricity procurement company Energy Action, Ivan Slavich.

“My guess would be that only 20 or 30 per cent of businesses have really felt it,” Slavich told Fairfax.

“It’s those electricity and gas customers that are coming off contract, that’s when they get impacted. They may have signed a deal back in 2012 or 2013 for a five-year contract and it’s only now coming up for renewal.”

ATO warning Uber drivers

The Australian Tax Office has written to 60,000 Uber drivers since 2015 to ensure they register and pay for the GST, reports Fairfax, and all eyes are firmly on ride-sharing drivers around tax time.

Assistant Commissioner Tom Wheeler said the ATO was concerned over as many as one-third of the 100,000 drivers that have registered for the Australian platform have not registered for the GST when needed or been correctly reporting income.

Wheeler said there was a significant “churn rate” of drivers, but encouraged all those driving for Uber and other ride-sharing services to make sure they accurately report all income received.

Vegemite heading global

While Australians’ love for Vegemite is so strong it’s close to being in the constitution, the rest of the world’s opinions on the Vitamin B-rich spread often varies.

However, Bega is hoping to change that with a rollout of the brand internationally to more than 40 countries reports The West Australian, with company chairman Barry Irvin saying the company is hoping to market the “salty pleasures of Vegemite” to the world.

Bega Cheese bought a number of Kraft products, including Vegemite, from Mondalez International in January in a $460 million deal.

“We are an exporting company that looks to take products into other markets,” he told The West Australian.

“I don’t say we plan to convert the world to Vegemite but we have been successful in establishing the Bega brand in more than 40 countries … and we aim to leverage those channels.”

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  • Rohan Baker

    What’s this? But we have been repeatedly told that Renewaballs are cheaper and more efficient than coal fired power stations and will actually reduce the costs of electricity.

    Yet the exact opposite is true. Just ask South Australia, who this week was recognised as having the highest % of wind turbines AND the highest electricity prices in the world.

    Come in spinner.