Myer faces backlash over disability levy comments

Photo: Myer is facing a social media backlash for saying the NDIS levy would hurt sales. (AAP: Joel Carrett)

Updated 43 minutes ago

Retail giant Myer is experiencing a customer backlash to comments by the company’s chief about the national disability insurance scheme.

Yesterday, Myer’s chief executive, Bernie Brookes, told a Sydney conference that the levy proposed to fund the scheme was not good for customers and not good for the discretionary income world.

Mr Brookes said the extra half a percentage point increase in the Medicare levy would take money from households that might otherwise be spent in Myer’s stores.

The comments have prompted hundreds of angry retorts on social media.

One post on Myer’s own Facebook page defends the scheme, saying it will benefit 400,000 Australians and asks whether Myer thought through the impact on customer relations.

wilanderson

Myer has responded with a statement thanking people for their posts and expressing its support for well-constructed support for people with disabilities.

However, it goes on to say government levies for whatever purpose can cause negative consumer sentiment which damages sales, profit and jobs.

“Ideally we would like any government initiative to be funded within the revenue stream it has, rather than through a new or additional tax take,” the company concluded.

The response, posted on the retailer’s Facebook page, has itself generated further angry responses on social media.

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Hijacking the NDIS

9 thoughts on “Myer faces backlash over disability levy comments

  1. Wonder if the comment from Myer’s CEO, Bernie Brookes, to the Macquarie Investment seminar elicited a few gasps from the audience. Somehow I don’t think so as these types tend to live in a parallel universe with absolutely no thought of others. They have blinkered self-serving lives with no compassion for their fellow man.

    As Myer doesn’t even want the custom of those, whose discretionary spending might be affected by the 0.5% levy, I cannot see what his beef is about. It’s not as if he is talking about K-Mart or Big W as Myer only tries to attract the higher income shoppers.

  2. Mr Brookes said the extra half a percentage point increase in the Medicare levy would take money from households that might otherwise be spent in Myer’s stores.

    (Myer) However, it goes on to say government levies for whatever purpose can cause negative consumer sentiment which damages sales, profit and jobs.

    Don’t you just love the capitalist-speak – “negative consumer sentiment” = maybe consumers have woken up to the fact that especially in a shaky global economy they don’t have to buy stuff they don’t need and they don’t have to engage with inflated prices for stuff often produced in sweat shops (like those in Bangladesh)

    Retailers are not really interested in jobs.

    • Well, that is actually exactly what you don’t want to happen in a shaky global economy. If we want the economy to keep chugging along so that everyone has jobs, people need to keep buying things. The way that our economy is currently set up is more or less applying the economic theory of Just in Time supply, just to our expenses rather than having the engine turn up just in time to put in the car at a plant. There are significant benefits to this, it is a lot more ‘effective’ resulting in people having a lot more money to spend, spending drives up consumption, the base of the worlds economy, which then helps to keep the economy going.

      This is why we were able to skip the worst of the GFC. A combination of China spending trillions of dollars on their domestic stimulus which kept resources height and Kevin doing some solid steps to keep everyone believing allowed the money to keep flowing. It is true the the raw resources didn’t bring in that much cash in comparison to the rest of the economy, but it did trick the majority of the population into thinking that it is bringing in high hundreds of billions of dollars into Australia, making them willing to spend.

      Now, is a 0.5% increase in the cost going to hurt this, in a likelihood, probably not. Is there better ways of funding the NDIS, probably. Did Myer fuck up, damn straight they did and don’t worry, they are dying of as quick as they can.

  3. Dunno, but I’m guessing someone who can finally get a shower 7 days a week is more likely to be able to get a job, pay taxes and buy stuff at (anywhere but Myers hopefully). I’m economically challenged, but I would have thought this would provide a boost to the economy, not a drag on it. But I guess Bernie’s smarter than me.

  4. oh please, Myer is a captialist slumdog pit aimed at the high-upper class bourgeoisie elite; so of course the head of the company is gunna be a snobby c@#t and protest his personal interests before the rest of the nation. What, would you also be supursied if Gina Reinheart said the same thing? …Just saying, this isnt exaclty supurising news, as hurtful as i agree it is.

  5. Oh dear Bernie Brookes worried about his wages, because oh dear a small % of Medicare is being used to help those with a Disability? You Bernie are just a big cry baby. Sob Sob.

  6. The household that would be given a extra half a percentage point increase in the Medicare levy, wouldn’t even be seen in Myer, as they got better things to do with their money and for better value anyway.

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