By Patrick Avenell
Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey has used an interview on ABC TV’s Lateline (Monday 19 March 2012) to declare online trade irrelevant, criticise the mining tax as irrelevant and to promote his company’s pro-Australian made furniture policy.
Harvey’s key claims in the interview:
-There are negligible online furniture, bedding or whitegoods sales in Australia:
“If you want to go into furniture – we’re the biggest in Australia, if you want to go into bedding – we’re the biggest in Australia, the sales on the internet are zilch, or so close to it, it doesn’t matter,” said Harvey.
“Whitegoods – refrigerators, washing machines, all that sort of thing – there’s no internet sales in the world on that to speak of.”
-Harvey Norman is the country’s biggest supporter of local manufacturing:
“We’re out there supporting Australian manufacturers all the time, trying to keep the furniture industry going in this country. We are the only furniture and bedding retailer in Australia that’s really supporting Australian manufacturers to keep them going.”
-The Federal Government’s tax increase on mining companies and decrease on small business will not make an impact.
Harvey’s logic here is that cutting a small business tax rate from 30 per cent to 29 per cent will not affect profitability. He says a better way to help small businesses would be to remove unnecessary bureaucracy from the small business landscape, enabling these business people more time and freedom to improve their efficiencies.
“I know people working 80-to-100 hours per week – they’ve got all the forms to fill in, they’ve got all the government regulation – it’s never-ending; you just work, work, work; and you think to yourself, ‘Am I ever going to get out of this?
“Every year I hear the politicians saying they’re going to cut the red tape for business – they never cut it.”
Harvey concluded by saying that although he has had many conversations with politicians in his life, he can't remember a time when these politicians enacted any laws to benefit him or his business.