AUSTRALIA’S biggest office equipment retailer has announced it will be cutting more than 200 jobs across Australia and New Zealand, in a move that will leave many office users stranded.
Key points:The retailer said it was closing some offices in the UK, South Africa, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and TurkeyThe company said it would lay off about 500 staff in the US, Ireland and SingaporeThe move comes as US President Donald Trump seeks to rein in America’s corporate tax rate, amid a global financial crisis.
Key point:The company, AshtoBrite, said it had laid off about 50 staff in Australia and would cut some of its workforce in the United States, South America and Europe in an effort to reduce costs.
AshtoBite said it is shutting down its offices in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom in March and April.
Its stores will close down in June, and the company is planning to lay off staff in Spain, Italy and Turkey in July.
It said it will lay off 500 staff from its US and Ireland stores in May and June and will cut the number of staff in those countries by about 500 by the end of the year.
“As we have been working hard to improve efficiency and reduce costs, we are very sorry to announce that we have made the difficult decision to lay-off staff at our US and Irish stores and will be laying-off 500 staff over the next two weeks,” the company said in a statement.
The company is now looking to lay people off in Europe, including the UK and Germany.
“We are deeply sorry for the disruption caused to our customers and partners, and we thank them for their support in helping us through this difficult time,” it said.
It also said it plans to lay some staff off in Germany.
The decision to cut staff in other countries comes as Mr Trump seeks more aggressive tax cuts and tighter controls on foreign investment.
In the United Nations, the president has warned that the US is on the “cusp of another economic meltdown”, with the economy projected to contract by as much as 5 per cent in 2018.
Mr Trump has been trying to reduce corporate tax rates across the world and tighten regulations to make US companies more competitive.
The president has said that his administration will be reviewing US corporate tax laws to make them more efficient and tax-efficient.
“If I’m President, we’re going to be doing away with our corporate tax code,” he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in March.
He has also proposed slashing the US’s top rate from 35 per cent to 20 per cent, from a top rate of 39.6 per cent on individual income and from 39.7 per cent for corporations.
The United Nations has said the plan to cut corporate tax could cost the US $1 trillion over the course of the next decade.
“There are two things that need to happen.
One, the US must be much more efficient in terms of corporate tax policy and, two, the United State must be able to have a very low tax rate,” US President Trump said during the interview.