No special deal for Amazon, Morrison says

scott morrison v1Treasurer Scott Morrison has pledged there will be no exemptions for multinationals paying GST after Amazon closed its international stores to Australians.

The online retail giant will direct Australian shoppers away from its US and UK stores to its smaller local site from July 1, when the goods and service tax is extended to all imported e-commerce items.

Currently GST is only charged on items bought from overseas sites and shipped to Australia if they’re worth more than $1000.

“You don’t get a special deal because you’re a big company or a multinational,” Mr Morrison said on Friday.

Amazon says extending the tax to all items would mean they would have to cut already-thin margins or pass on the charge to customers.

Australians will be able to access their new global store which has four million products, compared to Amazon US which has 480 million.

“I think it is disappointing that Amazon have taken this out on consumers in Australia, but that is their commercial position,” Mr Morrison said.

“If they want to take the bat and ball and go home then I think Australians will have the same view about that as they do about others who do that sort of thing in our community.”

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said Labor had previously called on Mr Morrison to delay the implementation by 12 months to iron out problems.

“It is important that the playing field be levelled and small business not be disadvantaged when it comes to overseas competition,” Mr Bowen told reporters in Sydney.

“But for Amazon to withdraw their international websites to Australians means that Australian consumers will have less choice on the 2nd of July than they have today when it comes to their purchases and that can’t be a good thing.”

It is understood Mr Morrison met with Amazon five times, including at its US headquarters.

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