THE NEWS WRAP: Gerry Harvey complains GST exemptions are not fair

Furniture and electrical king Gerry Harvey has again called on the federal government to abolish the GST exemption on imported goods, telling shareholders the tax-free threshold is not fair.


“This is totally unfair. It won’t make any difference to us, but it is totally unfair,” the Harvey Norman boss says.


“Business overall is not bad, but it’s not easy. I don’t see how it’s going to improve suddenly.”


RBA warning on productivity


Reserve Bank deputy governor Philip Lowe has warned that future standard of living increases are at risk unless there is an increase in productivity, as the mining boom winds down.


“With rapid growth in Asia pushing up the prices of commodities, Australia’s export prices increased substantially relative to our import prices.


“It is this increase in the average value of what we produce per hour of work – not so much an increase in the average amount that we produce per hour – that has been central to the increase in our living standards over the past decade.


“Over the next decade or so, if we are to achieve anything like the type of growth in real per-capita income that we have become used to, then a substantial increase in productivity growth will be required.


“If this lift in productivity growth does not take place, then we will need to adjust to some combination of slower growth in real wages, slower growth in profits, smaller gains in asset prices and slower growth in government revenues and services – in short, slower growth in our average living standard.”


Murray Goulburn will honour Warrnambool agreements with Lion


Murray Goulburn managing director Gary Helou says he will honour the Warrnambool Cheese and Butter’s cut-and-wrap agreement with Lion, should it be successful in its takeover bid.


Currently, WCB manufactures Lion’s entry level cheese brands, including Coon and Cracker Barrel.


“We will respect and fulfil and enhance every commercial deal that Warrnambool has today… including the Lion deal,” Helou says.


“Lion is a big player in the Australian dairy industry. We have a good relationship with them and we are always talking about aspects of the industry and aspects of improving efficiencies for mutual benefits.”




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0,09% to 16086.7. The Aussie dollar is down to US91.3 cents.


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