Treasurer responds to Amazon's block on Australian consumers

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Treasurer Scott Morrison says multinationals like Amazon won't get any special deals because of their size to stop them paying GST in Australia.

Amazon closing its international stores to Australians to avoid paying GST is disappointing but Treasurer Scott Morrison is promising there will be no exemptions.

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.

 

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

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

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. However Amazon US 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."

Labor's digital economy spokesman Ed Husic said the treasurer should have sat down with Amazon and other retailers earlier to talk through the changes.

"Scott Morrison refused to do it, so consumers are losing out," Mr Husic told Sky News.

"If consumers are feeing ripped off today, blame Scott Morrison."

Source AAP - SBS

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