Gerry Harvey Wants Australia To Ban Amazon 'Like Donald Trump Not Letting The Muslims In'

Gerry Harvey has a long history of complaining about things, particularly when it comes the protection of brick and mortar retail.

But this might be his most bizarre rant yet.

After reporting a record half-year profit, Harvey spoke to News. He said things. He said a lot of things.

Perhaps top of the 'probably shouldn't say that' list was a suggestion that Australia stop Amazon from coming here "like Donald Trump not letting the Muslims in".

Later he would refer to Amazon as "parasites".

Harvey's issue focuses on Amazon's pricing, which he believes is part of a long-term plan to "send everyone broke, then put up the price."

Among Harvey's more reasonable concerns: the fact that Amazon — and global companies like Amazon — aren't paying corporate tax in Australia.

“They pay virtually no company tax [globally] and make virtually no profit in relation to their turnover. They’re not good corporate citizens, they send lots of people broke, they contribute virtually nothing to society. They’re not someone that we’d want around the place.”

For more, including Harvey's views on distribution and rapidly increasing house prices I suggest heading to the original story. It's... something alright.



    I agree that they should be made to pay corporate tax. However, I welcome Amazon entering the Australian market. Competition is a good thing, and I buy most things online anyway.

    If this forces businesses like Harvey Norman to lower it's prices, then it will encourage more people to shop in physical stores, which is what he wants isn't it?

      I'm sorry, but you think Harvey Norman pays its 'fair' share of tax? Nope!

      Gerry is one of the parasites here, he just doesn't want his 'market' share to decline. From the ATO records

      Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd
      Total income during 2013-14: $1.18 billion
      Taxable income during 2013-14: $232 million
      Tax paid: $64.49 million

      So the Harvey Normal 'parasite' group, collected $1.18 billion, but only paid $64.49M in tax.... Hmmmmm

        The sooner that governments stop corporates moving money around for the primary purpose of avoiding tax the better off we, as citizens, will be.

          as if tax money is wisely used to benefit its citizens

          if you put the australian government in charge of the sahara desert, they'd be running out of sand in 5 years and they'd go home at 4:51pm

            Well the more tax money a government had the more chance it could be used to benefit the citizens. At the moment they are cutting (or proposing to cut) funding even more.

            I worked at Charles Darwin Uni for a month last year... 8am start and 4:21pm finish, with a 30 minute unpaid lunch break. Paid for 7 hours and 21 minutes per day for a total of 36.75hrs per week. And you'd be hella lucky if you could find anyone who hadn't left the office at least 15 minutes before the official finish time.

        Hold up there. This is a good example of where people get things wrong, by conflating turnover to taxable income. There are always costs in running a business, and those arent small. Cost of goods, rent or property costs, staff costs all add up to reduce that Total Income down.

        Thats why there is such a difference between Total Income and Taxable Income. As a base point, for small businesses costs are generally around 90% of their total income, and typically the more a business earns, the higher that percentage goes up. Smaller businesses see the percentage go below 90%, down to around 80% or even lower.

        Want a breakdown of how it works, check out Woolies annual reports. $58b revenue, with ~$56b in costs. $42b of that alone is buying the stock. That puts their costs at around 97% of revenue, but because of the volume they still made a reasonable profit. $800m profit doesnt sell papers though, while $500m tax on $58b revenue does. Thats less than 1% tax!!! /sarcasm off - look at the consolidated profit/loss statement. Harvey Norman wouldnt be much different, except for the scale.

          except you and i both know there are ways in accounting in which to decrease taxable income via various (morally/ethically/religiously/philosophically etc questionable) methods

            That happens, which is why I have a job, but what I'm saying is that its not as bad as people want it to be. It still costs money to make money, and the more money you make, the smaller your margin needs to be to show a decent profit.

            Every business is like that, from the local coffee shop to BHP. Representing taxes as a percentage of revenue is always going to look bad, and it doesnt matter how much dodgy shit a business does, its STILL going to look bad.

            Small business benchmarks typically have a small business spending something like 90c to make $1. They then pay 30% tax on that profit, so out of that dollar, they pay 3c tax - 30% of the 10c profit. Or 3% of the $1 revenue. Thats for a coffee shop, and it happens for every business.

            All taxes are based on that - tax after costs. For the worker, costs are generally minimal so the tax we pay is a higher portion of revenue, but with a few exceptions for businesses they usually arent.

              You're still assuming the stats are based on direct costs of operation without tax loopholes. Which Gerry 100% is taking advantage of

          The head lines in the papers are definitely misleading but a large portion of these large companies are doing dodgy stuff too. Do you really think large companies like google are only making ~2-3% profit on its revenue? if it was that bad they'd just put all that money into bonds paying 4% instead.

          Last edited 02/03/17 12:25 pm

        You only pay tax on Taxable Income, while they will minimise tax the same as everyone else there still paying the 30% corporate tax rate, roughly 6% of there total income.
        Compare that to say Apple (2014-2015)
        Total Income: $8,348,192,650
        Total Taxable Income: $487,996,001
        Tax Paid: $146,295,503
        Percentage of Total Income paid as tax: 2%

        Globally in Q4 2014 Apple made 8.5 Billion Profit on 42 Billion Revenue or about 20% profit.
        Compare that to the Aust Profit Margin of 5%..
        The Game is rigged.

        I don't like Harvey - but:

        Your comparing total income - read turnover.

        That's NOT profit, he's spending most of that to make that - that's why the taxable income is a separate figure (and a lot lower).

        You do understand how company tax is paid. You pay 30% on any profit you make. Not on the gross turnover a company makes. The $1.18b would be before operating costs and expenses are taken out.

        So he is paying the correct amount of TAX. I don't like him and his whining, but he pays the correct amount of tax. Most australian based companies pay the correct amount of tax, it's the multi-nationals that don't.

        I run my own business and you would be stupid not to try and minimise your tax. I work too hard to give up any more than i need to, to the government that just wastes money hand over fist.

        Lastly you do realise that companies collect GST and spend a lot of time and money to do so, this is not chargeable, so we wear the cost of basically doing the government's job. You try running a business and then tell me why you should hand over more of your hard earned than you need to.

        Last edited 03/03/17 8:03 am

        so how much of the total collected was paid out in wages ? also payng tax. and how much was paid in floor space rent for the retail shops ? and how much was paid to the suppliers of all of the merchandise ? and there are many more deductions of the total collected including power, water rates, transport costs , all of which pay gst on the amount paid, best you look at the BIGGER PICTURE before jumping to unfounded conclusions , just sounds like another unaustralian noodle head having a crack at an Australian success (tall poppie crap)

        'Collected' is not profit - retailers have to PAY for what they sell. All; businesses have costs, goods, wages, insurance, rent, electricity, site and office equipment (all of which which employs a great many other people).

        Clearly the myriad whiners have never operated a business - or employed people.

    Typical response from someone backed up against the wall. He knows he's business will go down when Amazon finally comes around.

    I feel like, when Harvey Norman does finally collapse under the weight of its own franchise fees and refusal to move with the times, he's going to make the transition to "crazy guy yelling nonsense on a street corner" very smoothly.

      The halfway point is the crazy guy yelling to sell vacuum cleaners for Godfrey's, and Gerry is already starting to reaaally resemble that guy!

    One of Australia's biggest Tories given a voice by Murdoch media. The perfect combination of click bait and dog whistling.

      Because Fair-fax or The Guardian never do Click Bait or Dog Whistling

        Won't disagree with you on the Guardian. Fairfax I'm happy to defend a bit.

        Even if they're champions of the left, I'll take them any day. News Corp are deplorable - phrasing intentional.

        compare and on a daily basis. Then come back and say who does more clickbait.

    So... apparently competition is only good when it benefits Gerry Harvey eh?

    The sooner Amazon does get here and sends greedy old c***s like him broke, the better.

      As much as I don't like Gerry Harvey I'm not going to celebrate their arrival. Him being against them doesn't make them the good guys.

    I'll just leave this here for those who think Harvey Norman pay its fair share of 'taxes', from the ATO name and shame report

    Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd
    Total income during 2013-14: $1.18 billion
    Taxable income during 2013-14: $232 million
    Tax paid: $64.49 million

      See my link above to the Woolworths annual report. They dont make money without spending money, and for a business like Harvey Norman, they'd be spending a considerable amount just to get the products they onsell to the consumer. $950m isnt an unreasonable cost of running their business.

      Problem is that people want to see drama when its not really there, and use revenue as if its the smoking gun. Its not. Your local cafe would be exactly the same, but its not cool to attack them. What would you say if that cafe took $1m, but only paid $30,000 in tax on that million?

    Gerry is just a crazy old man.

    I mean he wanted the government to introduce GST to online purchases from overseas stores. What a moron.

    Who would be stupid enough to take his ideas under consideration?

    I agree that tax is an important issue for international companies, but that's not really why Harvey is bringing it up.

    It lays bare the real reasons behind everything Harvey has had a whinge about over the years. He doesn't want to protect brick-and-mortar stores in Australia or even the playing field over the evils of GST-free imports, he wants to prevent anyone - local or foreign, physical or online - from being able to compete better than he can. His mindset is that if other companies are beating his company, then the solution isn't to improve but to drag the competition down instead.

    Not only are his motives solely about his own self interests rather than the champion of local business he paints himself as, but they're entrenched in an obstinate refusal to change.

    Last edited 01/03/17 12:00 pm

      Sshhhhhh.... no one want to hear a logical reason for why Gerry is Gerry :)

      I think you missed the other reason Gerry does what he does.

      This is the company profile for Harvey Norman Holdings:

      Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd, a public company that, as a franchisor, grants franchises to independent business operators, as business owners who retail products for the home and office in the following categories: Electrical, Computers & Communications, Small Appliances, Furniture, Bedding & Manchester, Home Improvements, Lighting and Carpet & Flooring.

      If people are scared of Amazon they aren't going to want to open a Harvey Norman franchise. He needs to be out in public taking them on so that he can say "A Harvey Norman franchise is still a good idea, don't worry about Amazon I'll protect you"

        Do you think anyone with enough business acumen to run a successful franchise is gullible enough to believe Harvey? ;)

          Indeed, he's probably more worried that once Amazon is here his potential franchisees will all just set up Amazon storefronts.

    Its times like these I lament life expectancy increasing...

      Haha, not for Hollywood actors or musicians though it seems...

    Does anyone serious shop at Harvey Norman? lol
    I stopped shopping there years ago when I found out Gerry Harvey was crazy and out of touch.

      I did for a white good recently. Same price as every where else and the only 2 local places were good guys and Harvey's and the local good guy treat there customers like crap, guess I'm getting in their way of doing nothing. Least I got served at Harvey's.

    I work for a major Australian retailer, and Amazon's entry to the market has indeed got them concerned. Whilst Gerry Harvey may be dating the crazy cat lady from the Simpsons and attending weekly meetings of ranters anonymous, he has a point, the government deserves a cut (tax) to be used for the Australian people, and accordingly taxation levels etc should be enforced.

      how about the government go on a diet and stop wasting people's taxes for a change?

        That'd be nice, but wasteful government spending isn't really relevant to this. It's not about the tax money specifically, it's about the tax being collected in a way that's fair for Australian businesses.
        Right now you pay 10% more for every purchase you make in Australia which is collected buy the seller in the form of the GST. Now imagine if my business didn't have to pass that 10% on to the ATO. I'd be able to sell my goods for 5% less, destroy my competitors, and still make 5% more profit.

        What's happening here is a bit more complicated, but the simple version is that the distribution of taxation on both businesses and individuals is unfair. Gerry Harvey only cares because levelling the playing field reduces the amount of competition his store has, but it's very important. Low taxes are great but they have to be low in a way that's fair.

          I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, are you suggested that Amazon won't be paying tax in Australia? I mean heck they changed the way imports work (starting soon) so that mobs like Amazon (US) will have to collect GST on our behalf. I can't see Amazon (AU) getting away without paying tax.

      Once they are setup and operating in Australia they will pay tax. At the moment of course a foreign company isn't paying corporate tax here when they don't have to.

    >Later he would refer to Amazon as "parasites".
    >Harvey's issue focuses on Amazon's pricing, which he believes is part of a long-term plan to "send everyone broke, then put up the price."

    they're doing the opposite of HN, which is to put up the price first and leave them that way so they can leech off clueless pensioners who go to HN because of the familiar name

      Harvey Norman tends to sell older models of things. cleverly advertised to look like current models, along with also being the same price as current models!

    blah blah blah i want to stifle the competition because the consumer shouldn't have more choice.
    get real Gerry , this is a globalmarket, get with the times.

    send everyone broke, then put up the price.
    - Gerry Harvey, after decades of putting smaller retailers out of business by moving into town and undercutting everyone, then bringing the prices back up to "normal" after acquiring market share. Now a bigger fish is in the pond, and this parasite wants government help.

    Amazon will be good for the small guys who will put their products on Amazon. Can't wait.

    Let's face it. If he could he ban Australians from shopping anywhere but his stores. This has nothing to do with looking out for Australians but everything to do with him looking for monopolistic ways to line his own pockets.

    No surprise here; he advocated for 10% GST on online sales.

    Now he has it he needs to look for something else to complain about.

    Dare I say it, Harvey seems to be someone who is only happy when he's unhappy.

    If Amazon do end up establishing themselves in Australia we would probably end up with higher prices due to geoblocking.

    If you're going to avoid tax, you may as well do that in two countries rather then just the one.

    I suspect if Mr Harvey was in the export business he'd see this a little bit more positively.

    Another Australian economic gangster crying to his mates in government to protect him from the real world. He doesn't even know what competition feels like. Australians are like animals who have been on an island free of natural hazards so long they don't even know what to do when a predator approaches.

    Harvey Norman ........Great corporate citizens ? I think not I worked for them for about a year here in Perth WA and when I wanted to claim my superannuation payments they had deducted all my payments in the form of insurance that I did not deliberately sign in their agreement at the commencement of my employment, as legally I could not agree to their insurance due to the fact that I was suffering the effects of CANCER but they deducted the whole ammount of my superannuation, until when I went to make a claim for my money they had spent the whole lot on there internal system in their graft with the insurance company and the trade union REST.
    I hope Harvey Norman gets driven into OBLIVION by Amazon who at least are trying to make the world a better place.
    YOURS RORTED EVEN IF WAS ONLY A COUPLE OF GRAND don't support this rip off company.

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