Monthly Archives: February 2014

Spotlight on Local Business and A New Wave of Inflation

Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that Australia’s consumer prices index rose by 0.8 per cent in the three months of 2013 – more than twice as fast as expected. The major drivers of this was shown to be big increases in the price of fruit and vegetables and the cost of domestic and international travel. The news of increasing inflation is not good for families and business owners who were hoping for a further interest rate cut, with the news causing a shift at the RBA from debating the merits of another cut towards a more neutral stance on rates. Inflationary pressures on necessary items like food and fuel, will likely lead to an increase in prices across the board.

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Economist for Commsec, Savanth Sebastian agrees. “If petrol prices were to lift over coming months this would feed through the economy in higher transportation costs and in turn price increases across an array of goods and services,” he said. Before this data release the probability of a further interest rate cut before the middle of the year was above 50 per cent, however this potential cut is now looking much less likely. Back in 2011, the Australian Government estimated that Australian families would be paying and extra $9.90 per week, or around $520 per year towards the Carbon Tax during the first year after its introduction. Like all Government Tax increase “estimates” this figure should however be taken with a grain of salt, and many families and local business owners believe that the tax has had a far larger impact on their weekly and yearly budgets. Labor’s own figures state that the carbon tax will increase by a factor of 6 between mid-2014 and mid-2019 – reaching $38 a tonne by 2019 and increasing to $350 a tonne over time. You can rest assured that the majority of this tax will be passed on to the end consumer, putting further pressures on the debt-ridden and already struggling, average Australian family.

While still only in its early days, this additional expense is already putting unwarranted financial pressures on local businesses as well. A plethora of small business owners have been in contact with us to discuss the effect it has had on their businesses thus far, and to show their support for the anti-tax movement. The No Carbon Tax team interviewed a few of them to hear about how exactly they have been affected and what they are doing to try and reduce the financial burden. A spokesperson for Pesky Possum Pest Control who wished to remain anonymous, said that the Brisbane-based business who specialize in possum removal had really felt the impact over the last few years of increasing prices. “Because our contractors drive to different houses and businesses all across Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast to perform their pest control and possum rescue and removal work each day, a small increase in the price of petrol makes a massive difference to us at the end of the week” she said. “It’s not just petrol that has been affecting our pest removal teams either. We’ve noticed a jump in prices from bait for our possum and turkey traps, to sprays and equipment for our pest control, to tires for our trucks!”

Jay from Ads on Google another local Brisbane business owner said many of the clients of the search engine marketing agency where he works are feeling the pinch. “It’s seems like a lot of small businesses have had to cut back on their expenses recently due to their ever-increasing input costs. Generally when people cut back on expenditure, advertising and marketing is one of the first things to get culled.” He said. “One area where we’ve really notices a bit impact is clients who import high-end, quality fabrics and clothing from overseas for the local market. Two online clothing stores that I know of, The Freedom State, who specialize in bohemain-inspired ladies fashion and Fly Peacock who’s focus is on men’s designer t shirts, singlets and shorts have both had to reduce the frequency of their overseas flights in search of new designs and suppliers due to the increasing associated costs. The clothing industry isn’t an isolated case, anyone who travels overseas fairly regularly will have noticed the fairly large and consistent increases in the costs of tickets over the last few years.”

Tony Abbott claims the Tax will be repealed on July 1st, which will be a huge relief for Australian families and businesses. I’m not going to hold my breath though, the UN’s Agenda 21 and plans for a uniform Global Climate Tax isn’t going to be that easy to stop, and I’ve seen too many politicians break their promises to believe anything any puppet of the Australian 2 party system has to say until it has actually and definitively happened.