Photo Counter asked a range of retailers for their opinions on the Federal Budget. Consensus seems to be that it’s not the end of the world, but not the start of a new dawn. We thank our contributors for taking the time to share their thoughts – even from the other side of the world!
Taree Camera House
While this was clearly a political rather than an an economic budget, it is a bit like the curate’s egg – not all bad. It is yet to be determined whether the budget will have a positive effect on consumer attitudes, however the extra financial support for ‘the battlers’ (I thought we small retailers might qualify for that title!) will generate additional dollars that may find their way into the tills of retailers.
This may be especially true of the education payments. The tripling of the tax-free threshold from July 1 must modestly add to spending power of low income people. However, despite earlier promises, there was no direct support for small business, especially in regard to company tax cuts.
For all its positive and negative points, the budget is unlikely to generate an immediate effect on the behaviour of consumers and their sluggish spending habits; this is the biggest barrier to a stronger economy.
But the sun will still rise tomorrow and we all simply must adapt and get on with the job and focus on survival in this complex economy. We will adapt or disappear – as nothing will bring back the economy we once enjoyed. The landscape has changed forever.
Hutt St Photos, Adelaide
Currently in San Francisco and not really up to speed on what was in it. Seems like a bit of a non-event from what I’ve read, with minimal support for small business. Personally, I’d rather be rewarded for doing well than doing badly!
It’s a shame they could not cut the duty free allowance on more than cigarettes which might help to reduce the importation of hardware from overseas.
We remain cautious on trading conditions for the coming year and the budget reflects the governments’ lack of optimism. Having said that, we are excited about the strength of the main manufacturers’ ranges this year, particularly in Compact System Cameras and from Nikon, and Canon in DSLR.
We will take a measured approach during business planning although some positives did come out of last nights budget, particularly around the $600 family payment and the potential for further rate cuts this year, which we hope will free up spending.
Time will tell, nothing in it that is real for small business that will make an immediate effect, which was what we are needing. Consumer confidence may lift and we are told the latest survey has indicated this, but will it continue? Mother’s Day sales are the only bright light in months of soft trading.
Byron Photo Magic, Byron Bay
Nothing I could see that is of any great benefit to my small business. I think people are still saving (or paying off) rather than spending, with fixed costs continuing to rise and income not.