Facebook fury over Myer boss' comments on disability levy
MYER is facing a public relations nightmare after its chief executive Bernie Brookes voiced fears the National Disability Insurance Scheme levy would take money from households that might otherwise be spent in its stores.
The Myer Facebook site has been flooded with hundreds of angry comments after Myer's chief executive, Bernie Brookes, said the levy proposed to fund the scheme was not good for customers or discretionary spending.
Comedian Wil Anderson even bought into the debate, tweeting: "Myer worries that disability levy will hurt sales. They are right. I am not going to shop at Myer after reading those comments."
In a statement on its Facebook page, Myer said it wanted to make it clear it was "absolutely supportive of any well constructed support for those with disabilities and that view seems reflected across the community.''
"As a business however, we remain sensitive to imposts on the consumer by the government generally, for whatever purpose, as this adds to negative consumer sentiment and that adversely impacts 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.
"Thank you for the opportunity to give some substance to comments perhaps taken out of context.''
But the post did little to settle the issue.
"I don't think it is appropriate or professional for your company to be making political statements. I don't feel it will be good for your consumer sentiment. Disappointing Myer,'' Rachelle Cooke wrote.
Shaziah Yasmeen Deen wrote:"I have 2 boys 9 & 11, Autism & Epilepsy and my husband and I both work.
"We receive no family payment benefited schoolkids bonus, clean energy payment etc but we do pay private therapies for our boys out of our own pocket. I just want everyone to understand is you have a disability you seem to get all this money from government.
"Sorry to disappoint but it's a myth.
"Our hard earned tax dollars are supporting the unemployed, refugees and everybody else why can't some of it go back to our own?? And to the idiot that thinks disability only affects children, I didn't realise there were so many ignorant people out there''
Another wrote: "Your response shows very clearly that your comments were not taken out of context.The "Impost" on the community in looking after the most vulnerable and disadvantaged amongst us?
"You have given your comments substance alright and I for one have cut up my Myer One card and will never set foot into a Myer store again. Shame on you!''
Rebecca Louise wrote: "I find this response from Myer almost more insulting thank your CEOs original comments. It is quite clear that Myer puts its profits above the needs of Aussies with a disability. I do not spend my money with businesses who do not have a social conscience. As others have said - "Hello David Jones".
Lisa Jardine: SMARTEN UP MYER - it is exactly this type of narrow minded, uninformed comment that absolutely means I will NEVER shop at Myer again!!!
If I wasn't so concerned about how many people with disabilities are NOT getting adequate support and service, I just may be nasty enough to wish a disability upon you so that you would experience the grim reality!
I would imagine a good number of your so called "client group" have disabilities and your comments will affect your sales moreso than any bloody miniscule levy. I am happy to pay it and even MORE happy NOT to shop at Myer!!
Catherine Kimmings: I've always been a Myer customer and have always said they were one of my favourite stores, they're standards have dropped severely over the years and I've still stuck by them, but now they have insulted me and my disabled daughter, I'll shop elsewhere!!!
Jennifer Jaehne: Myer....your customer service is appalling! How about you fix that up in all your stores before you start making comments as you have. You aren't that great at what you do so best you focus on your own business
Ingrid Morrow: Just think of the extra money that carers will now be able to spend at Myer, if the burden of disability is spread across the community!
And those with a disability that now will be able to work and earn money and pay taxes will also be able to spend money at Myer!
I can't wait to spend all my extra money at Myer! Bonus for me, bonus for the disability workers, bonus for Myer! How is all that tax-payer funded Baby Bonus going for you Myer?
But Sue Hazer was happy to support Myer.
"Myer is not against the NDIS or supporting the disabled. Why don't some of you get your bloody facts straight before jumping on your band wagon.
"The retail industry has been in s slump for the past two to three years.
"You have no idea what you are talking about.
"The retail industry employs millions and small businesses are closing daily because of this slump.
"Not all the Australian economy is booming the housing industry is struggling with builders, carpenters etc having to change from town to towrn to get work, the tourism industry is struggling because of the high aussie dollar.
"What Myer said was a criticism against the government and wanting them to fund it in other means not from us the consumer, Myer was actually sticking up for you you bunch of morons!''
"You should be telling Gillard to stop wasting money on advertising, on salary increases for pollies and on foreign aid and other things to fund this.''
What do you think. Was Myer's CEO right with his comments? Should the NDIS be funded through cuts to other government spending or are you happy to pay extra on your Medicare Levy?