An Open Letter to Bernie Brookes

Media Inequality

Celebrities Attend Golden Slipper DayDear Bernie

I’m sure you can guess why I’m writing you this letter. You’ve no doubt had many similar complaints this week surrounding your comments about the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the effect this policy will have on Myer consumer spending. So here’s another one to add to the pile. Even if you don’t have time to read it, please do me the favour of handing it around your mates, fellow CEOs of big companies who think they’re entitled to an opinion about political policy. These words are for all of you.

First off, let me just say that I am a very grateful person. I am grateful that I live in a society where a brand like Myer exists. But I don’t wake up in the morning and curse that Myer isn’t open yet. I, like all other Australians, don’t need Myer. We don’t rely on Myer providing…

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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.


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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