3 June 2000.
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The Australian Government's desperate attempt to assure a flow of revenue to support politician's pensions and overseas trips has resulted in Australian's being saddled with an unwanted GST (Goods & Services Tax) that appears likely to cause severe repercussions on the Australian Economy.

On a microeconomic scale it is going to cause farmers problems.

BARVENNON has always hired in shearers.  Trouble is, I can't see my shearers providing me with an ABN (Australian Business Number).  So far, every shearer has refused to consider supplying an ABN.  So what am I to do?

  1. If I do not obtain an ABN (i.e. stay out of the system) then my wool broker will hold back 50% of my wool cheque.  Not to mention no refund of 10% GST for all farm inputs.
  2. I really do not feel that I could take 50% of my shearer's pay packet and give it to the government.  My name among farm workers would be mud, and I doubt that I could get another shearer or fencing contractor or whatever, ever.
  3. Perhaps I could consider paying my shearers by the shift.  That way each payment would be below the $50 that the ATO requires to be reported.  This is a highly unsatisfactory method, and might possibly be seen as artificial by the ATO.  In which case ATO might well charge me a tax equal to the money I paid to the shearer.
  4. Or I could just pretend that I shore all of those sheep myself.  That will probably turn out to be the cheapest option.  I can not realistically expect to earn enough income in the current economic climate to be paying more than about 20c in the marginal dollar as income tax, and it is better to absorb the shearer's costs myself by pretending that I shore the flock myself rather than paying the penalty tax of 100c on each dollar that I pay my shearer.
I expect that my microcosm dilemma is being reflected by thousands of other small businesses around Australia.  I hear that the TAXI business is likely to be either smaller or more expensive after July 1st.

A pox on all politicians.  Especially the Democrats, who didn't "keep the bastards honest".


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