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Hoteliers fail to warm to ALP’s sharing economy stance

October 28, 2015 Headline News, Hotel News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The release of Labor’s “sharing economy” principles has failed to impress the accommodation industry. The Accommodation Association of Australia has even marked it with a score out of 10, like a report card.

Many hoteliers feel enterprises like Airbnb are taking a free ride on the industry, providing accommodation without overheads such as complying with fire safety rules or disability access regulations.

Accommodation Association of Australia chief executive, Richard Munro, said that while “some positive aspects” existed to what Labor was proposing –  such as greater taxation obligations for sharing economy companies – “overall, the principles fall short of ensuring there is a level playing field for operators of tourism accommodation businesses and platforms which enable private residences to be used for tourism accommodation”.http://eventscrm.ttgasia.com/ttg2016/itcmchina/buyer/itcmbuyer.asp?code=GlobalTravelMedia

“The lack of a level playing field would have the potential to further compromise tourism accommodation investment in Australia and would mean that people with disability could be left without adequate access to accommodation booked through a sharing economy platform.”

The Accommodation Association has rated Labor’s Sharing Economy Principles, as follows:

Extract from principles: Additional property used to deliver services does not fall within the scope of the sharing economy

Accommodation Association assessment of this proposal: 1/10

Munro’s comment: “Standard commercial regulations and requirements should apply to any property which is used for tourism accommodation.”

Property compliance responsibility should rest with sharing economy platform operators 7/10

Munro: “Platform operators must not shirk responsibility for compliance with regulatory obligations set by all levels of government in Australia.”

Sharing economy services must not undercut the wages 8/10

Munro: “Even allowing for the fact that sharing economy accommodation businesses employ very few people in Australia and create very few jobs in Australia, workers in the accommodation industry must be paid in accordance with appropriate awards and/or in accordance with Australia’s Fair Work Act.”

Sharing economy companies must pay company tax at the standard corporate rate on all revenue generated in Australia 9/10

Munro: “This proposal would stop Airbnb from funnelling to Ireland transactions involving guests and hosts who are located in Australia.”

Australians delivering sharing economy services must pay income tax and collect GST when their activity exceeds the GST-exemption threshold 4/10

Munro: “All companies operating in Australia’s sharing economy should pay the same taxes and ‘bricks and mortar’ companies, including GST and company tax.”

Compliance responsibility for meeting insurance requirements should rest with sharing economy companies 7/10

Munro: “If a platform which promotes private residences for tourism accommodation does not have appropriate insurance, the safety of consumers is at risk.”

State and local governments should develop licensing and inspection codes specific to sharing economy services 0/10

Munro: “Why should a sharing economy business in the accommodation industry be treated any differently to any other accommodation business by government?”

Sharing economy services should comply with accessibility standards negotiated with disability advocates 0/10

Munro: “Disability access requirements for accommodation businesses are mandated by government, therefore people with disability could be left without adequate access to accommodation booked through a sharing economy platform under this proposal.”

There should be zero tolerance for companies that flout Australian laws 10/10

Munro: “There should be zero tolerance for companies that flout Australian laws.”

Edited by Peter Needham

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