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Jobs to go if FBT changes stay: dealers

Job threat: Car dealers are telling their industry association that they will cut their workforce if FBT rule charges are not repealed.

Dealer survey indicates that axe hangs over jobs due to FBT switch

General News logo4 Sep 2013

TWO-THIRDS of new-car dealers have signaled their intention to cut jobs as a result of federal government changes to Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) rules, according to an industry survey by the Australian Automobile Dealers Association (AADA).

The association, which is campaigning against Labor’s FBT moves in the run up to this weekend’s federal election, claims that 64.6 per cent of respondents to the dealer survey said they had, or would, make staff redundant due to a loss of sales caused by the changes, including the removal of the statutory formula method for salary-sacrificed and employer-provided cars.

Of the dealers who said they would make workers redundant, 80 per cent indicated they would cut jobs by between one and five in their dealerships.

The AADA also said the survey showed that 78.6 per cent of respondents reported that changes to the FBT system in July had resulted in cancelled or postponed orders.

According to official VFACTS August sales figures released today, Australian motor vehicle sales were down 0.2 per cent compared with the same month last year, against a rise of 4.0 per cent for the year to date.

August business car sales fell 10 per cent, with government volumes down 15.6 per cent. By contrast, private sales were up 12 per cent – more than the YTD rise of 10.2 per cent.

Local car-maker Ford was one of the hardest hit, with overall sales of its vehicles down 20.2 per cent. Holden sales were down 5.9 per cent, even though it has just launched its new VF Commodore range.

The survey results were released by the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) – a member organisation of the AADA – adding that it will want whichever party that wins power in this weekend’s election to reverse the FBT changes.

The Coalition has voiced its opposition to the changes, pledging to reverse them if it won government on September 7.

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