Work­ers should be treated equally

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR SAY -

MY DAD was 13 years old when his fa­ther and my grand­fa­ther, Ken­neth Lof­tus, died in a com­pletely avoid­able in­dus­trial ac­ci­dent in War­ring­ton, Eng­land.

Since that day, my dad has been a strong sup­porter of equal­ity and safety in the work­force. These were views that were passed on to me and ones I still value highly.

The de­bate over the back­packer tax has got­ten to such an ex­treme now that some po­lit­i­cal sides seem to be miss­ing something.

The tax needs to be fair to both farm­ers and back­pack­ers.

When back­pack­ers come to towns like Mundubbera, they use our roads, they use our hos­pi­tals. They should pay for that through a tax on their in­come.

While all Aus­tralians get a tax-free thresh­old of $18,500 a year, back­pack­ers don’t and will be taxed 19% from the first dol­lar they earn.

Is that fair? Is 19% too high? Is 10% too low?

Maybe something sim­i­lar to the Pa­cific Is­land scheme of around 15% would be more ap­pro­pri­ate?

Em­ploy­ers should also not have to pay su­per­an­nu­a­tion for back­pack­ers, as it will only ever be held by the gov­ern­ment and the back­pack­ers won’t re­ceive a cent.

Back­pack­ers need to pay tax on their in­come but it needs to be fair. I mean we are the coun­try of a fair go for all, aren’t we?

These are the ques­tions we need to grap­ple with dur­ing the next few months, to en­sure back­pack­ers are treated fairly. — Tobi Lof­tus

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