Back­packer tax chaos

Sen­ate un­cer­tainty over tax’s fu­ture

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Tobi Lof­tus Tobi.Lof­tus@cnbtimes.com.au

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.

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