From industry associations.

The retail industry has welcomed the Budget news with some reservations.

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the Budget brings much needed relief for retailers with the promise of personal tax cuts which will drive consumer spending.  “Retailers are struggling in a volatile market with low growth and increased cost pressures,” ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman said.

These measures, including the GST being applied to overseas purchases from July 1, prove the government is committed to implementing tax cuts, Zimmerman said, but he believes the cuts should include all tax brackets, and are needed earlier and faster to drive consumer discretional spending.

“With March retail trade figures showing a 3.15% trade growth year-on-year, retailers are still expecting the company tax rate to be lowered to sustain growth in the market and overall economy.

“Although we welcome the predicted Budget surplus and fall in net debt, the ARA calls on the government to develop a real plan to put Australia back on a track to zero debt and long-term lower taxes to ensure the longevity of Australian retail,” he said.

National Retail Association (NRA) CEO, Dominique Lamb agreed that the measures contained in the federal budget will help kick-start the Australian retail sector. “These will give a much-needed boost to retail, in particular small business,” Lamb said.

The NRA also welcomed the government’s announcement to cut personal income tax for those earning below $87,000 per year.  “Giving consumers more spending power will have a particularly positive flow-on effect for small business who are currently navigating a challenging period which was demonstrated by the disappointing latest retail figures released by the ABS.”

The extension to the instant asset write off that allows businesses with a turnover of up to $10 million a year to claim a tax deduction for equipment costing up to $20,000 was also welcome news, along with the government’s renewed commitment to tax cuts for all businesses.

“Larger retailers are the backbone of entry-level employment opportunities, and we would expect a quick upscale in employment should these tax cuts be legislated. The proposed company tax cuts would be great news for young people seeking to kick-start a career in paid employment and we urge senate crossbenchers to support the legislation,” Lamb said.