Few mutterings on the bounty

Few mutterings on the bounty

Canberra's backflip over the computer bounty, and now its scrapping, is unlikely to have any major effect on the reseller channel, according to resellers and vendors contacted by ARN last week.

Under the system, computer makers were paid a bounty of 5 per cent of the value they added in producing the computer - but not on the cost of the imported components or the profit. The bounty started at 20 per cent in 1987 and was originally scheduled to end this year anyway.

The government believes the abolition of the bounty will save it an estimated $142 million over the next three years.

At Digital Equipment, Mark Whittard, marketing manager for the PC unit, said the move would not affect the company in a major way.

But Rob Durie, deputy executive director of the Australian Information Industry Association, said the scrapping of the bounty sent a message that Australia was not interested in high technology manufacturing. "It will mean less global investment in Australia for manufacturing," said Durie.

A spokesperson for IBM Australia, the largest manufacturer of IT products here, said the abolition should have been tied to the scrapping of the tariff on imported components.

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