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Anorak | Apple and Microsoft gadgets are more expensive in Australia because of politicians and their taxes

Apple and Microsoft gadgets are more expensive in Australia because of politicians and their taxes

by | 22nd, February 2013

THE Aussie politicians are getting all angry at the tech companies because Australians have to pay more for their shiny shiny tech than do Americans. But you would think that someone devious enough to actually get elected would have the brains to work this out, wouldn’t you?

The IT Pricing Inquiry being conducted by Australia’s House Committee on Infrastructure and Communications has issued summons to Apple, Microsoft and Adobe.

The inquiry kicked off in 2012 and is investigating why Australians pay more for hardware and software than those overseas.

At current exchange rate one Australian dollar buys $US1.03. Yet Australians often pay more in Australian dollars than Americans are charged in their currency.

An example of the discrepancy can be seen in the price of a 16GB WiFi iPad with Retina Display. In the USA the fondleslab costs $US499. In Australia it’s $AUD539.

The reason, or at least one of the reasons, is that Australians get charged tax on their shiny shiny by politicians.

In slightly more detail, US prices are always quoted before sales taxes. This is because each State (and often counties within them, even cities) have different sales tax rates. So, prices are quoted “naked” or tax and then it’s added on when they work out where they’ve got to ship it to.

In Australia the sales tax is called GST. It’s a Federal tax: so it’s the same for the whole country. And it’s 10% too: and prices are always quoted inclusive of GST, not naked of it.

So, take off the GST, fiddle around with the exchange rate and the two prices, US and Oz, are about 1% different. Which, given that the exchange rate keeps moving, is pretty good accuracy really.

Which leaves us with one final question. Is the politician simply too stupid to note this? Or is there something worse going on here? He knows it, knows that the reason that Oz pays more is because of politicians and their taxes, but has decided to ignore this in order to grandstand?

Your choice really: politicians, stupid or evil?



Posted: 22nd, February 2013 | In: Money, Technology, The Consumer Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink