Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE -

FLYNN MP Ken O’Dowd has stood by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s pro­posed 19% back­packer tax, de­spite the North Bur­nett com­mu­nity’s call for a 15% tax.

A spokesman for Mr O’Dowd said the gov­ern­ment’s solution of a flat 19% rate brought back­pack­ers in line with their Aus­tralian coun­ter­parts and left Aus­tralian in­dus­tries able to out-com­pete other coun­tries, such as New Zealand, based on take-home pay.

“This 19% plan gives certainty to our agri­cul­ture and tourism in­dus­tries and is fully costed. Labor’s 10.5% thought-bub­ble would have a neg­a­tive ef­fect on the bud­get while mak­ing Aus­tralian work­ers sub­sidise for­eign col­leagues, some­thing (the Coali­tion) doesn’t agree with,” the spokesman said.

“One of the great­est threats to any in­dus­try is un­cer­tainty.

“When busi­nesses are un­aware what their op­er­a­tional terms will be in the future, it makes it im­pos­si­ble for them to plan their work ap­pro­pri­ately.”

The spokesman said the un­cer­tainty was hav­ing a neg­a­tive impact on in­dus­tries that rely on back­pack­ers.

“The Coali­tion gov­ern­ment en­tered wide con­sul­ta­tion this year to see that a suit­able tax rate could be iden­ti­fied, in place of the 32.5% for­eign worker rate in­stalled by Labor,” the spokesman said.

“Mr O’Dowd is very con­cerned the impact this whole ar­gu­ment is po­ten­tially hav­ing on the hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­tries in Flynn, he was one of the lead­ing voices against the 32.5% rate and was pleased with the well-ne­go­ti­ated 19% plan.”

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