Workers should be treated equally
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