Backpacker tax chaos
Senate uncertainty over tax’s future
THE revised backpacker tax plan is looking less likely to pass the Senate, with Labor, One Nation and Jacqui Lambie not agreeing to the new plan.
Flynn MP Ken O’Dowd said the block, led by Labor Senator Chris Ketter, used farmers and tourism operators as “pawns in a political game”.
“After a period of industry consultation, the government came up with a very well negotiated compromise on the Backpacker Tax,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“The 19% policy gives our rural communities certainty and fairness while addressing the budget shortfall.
“Farmers are being used as political fodder, which should come as no surprise from a Labor party who has cut funding to the regions, stood in the way of water infrastructure and attempted to decimate our live cattle industry.”
A spokesman for Senator Chris Ketter said Labor wants to make the tax fairer to workers.
“Labor has outlined that it will move amendments in the Senate that would lower the proposed tax rate for working holiday-makers from 19% to 10.5% and oppose the proposed increase to the Passenger Movement Charge,” the spokesman said.
“Once Labor’s amendments pass the Senate, Ken O’Dowd should do the right thing and cross the floor on the bills.
“The evidence from the Senate inquiry on the government’s backpacker tax shambles is clear: Australian farmers need a lower tax rate to remain internationally competitive.”
Ken O’Dowd said he rejected the amendments.
“Labor’s 10.5% thought-bubble appears to have been dreamed up by Canberra latte-sippers rather than through industry consultation; a stark comparison with the government’s responsible, measured approach,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“The result of a Labor/Lambie/One Nation senate block not supporting the government’s plan for 19% rate will result in the original rate of 32.5% coming into play on January 1st; this will leave our horticulture and tourism industries in a perilous state as they face another period of Labor-induced chaos.”
Labor’s amendments and the tax will continue to be debated by the Senate when parliament resumes on November 21.