8 Aug 2011

Online GST wanted

7:14 am on 8 August 2011

Pressure is growing on the Australian government to provide support for domestic retailers in the face of a boom in online shopping.

After a spendthrift decade, Australians are suddenly developing an interest in savings these days. And when they do spend money, they are increasingly doing it online.

Radio New Zealand's Sydney correspondent says the combination of household caution, a strong Australian dollar and the ease of shopping on the web is putting real pressure on bricks and mortar retailers.

Retail sales nationally are down for two months in a row and listed retailers like Myer and David Jones are among the worst performing stocks this year.

With consumers increasingly shopping for bargains online, big traditional stores and the retail workers union are urging the government to impose GST on overseas-based online retailers. Currently, purchases under $A1000 are not subject to sales tax.