News Pulse for September 4, 2018

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

Online shopping could spark retail jobs ‘Armageddon’

Australian retailers continue to struggle. July’s ABS figures show retail sales were the same as they were the month before — zero growth.

Over the past year, retail turnover has grown 3.2 per cent, which sounds good but is less impressive when population growth and inflation are taken into account.

Innovation more than  just a word

As Malcolm TurnbullThe Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Federal Member for Wentworth Prime Minister from 15.9.15 blazed out of the PM’s office and then parliament, the start-up space stared at a gaping hole where innovation once sat in cabinet.

It is now clear that “innovation” as a vote-winning federal PR strategy was a clear failure. It was blamed for a loss of votes in the 2016 election and, despite a political and media spotlight on the space, has achieved practically little as a stand-alone portfolio.

Day: Less lobbying, more action

Industry groups from the tech and startup sectors must focus more on productive services for their members, rather than lobbying government for increased support, according to Innovation and Science Australia chief executive officer Charlie Day.

Speaking at a Pearcey Foundation forum in Melbourne last week, Mr Day said that since he joined ISA early last year, he had seen several industry groups serve only to lobby government.

Labor’s ATO plan a watershed moment

It was a watershed moment for small business when the shadow treasurer Chris Bowen promised a massive overhaul of the Australian Taxation Office if Labor wins government.

The decision to create a separate and dedicated appeals group led by a new, second ATO Australian Taxation Office commissioner not only takes some of the sting out of the ATO Australian Taxation Office’s extraordinary powers but brings it into line with comparable international tax collection agencies such as its United States counterpart.

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