Jun 10, 2016

Backpacker tax nightmare worsens

The worst fears of the farming and tourism sectors were realised today when they learned that the backpacker tax is still due to commence on 1 July 2016.

The Turnbull Government said it would delay and review the tax but accountants are being referred to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website, which indicates the tax should be implemented on 1 July.

Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce are misleading those affected by the tax.

They are still booking the $540 million in revenue they claim the tax will raise while leading farmers and tourism operators to believe they have delayed its implementation.

It is clear the Government intended to have people believe prior to the election that it would not impose the tax but that it plans to do something different after the election.

It has been caught out.

Backpackers are critical to the agricultural workforce and are among the highest spending and longest staying visitors to Australia.

They are also net creators of jobs and significantly benefit regional Australia through their labour and spending. 

Department of Immigration research shows every five working holiday-maker arrivals creates one new full-time job in Australia in accommodation, retail, tourism, education or hospitality. 

The Turnbull Government needs to clarify its intentions on the backpacker tax today.