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Retailers in outcry over Gillard back flip

The Gillard Government’s ‘back flip’ on promised company tax rate cuts to 29 per cent rather than 28 per cent will hit retailers hard in the face of increasing wages, the planned increase to superannuation of 9 per cent to 12 per cent and weak retail sales figures, according to the Australian Retailers’ Association (ARA).

ARA head Russell Zimmerman said new tax concessions to the mining sector, meant the Gillard Government had penalised companies and small businesses that were due to benefit from the promised company tax cut.

Retailers were already reeling in the face of weak trade, he said, with ABS Retail Trade figures released last week showing a 0.2 percent growth in May 2010 and year-on-year retail sales only up 1.2 per cent compared to the same time last year

Meanwhile increasing wage bills and increased superannuation burdens were also hurting retailers.

“It’s a pretty depressing outlook for retailers when their income from sales is decreasing, expenses from wage bills are increasing and now Superannuation will increase with only a 1 per cent cut to the company tax rate.

“The Australian Retailers Association calls for the Gillard Government to be open about consultation to retailers who represent a large part of the Australian economy and who employ over 1.5 million people,” Zimmerman said.

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