Oct 27, 2016

Government incompetence and arrogrance over backpacker tax exposed

The shambles of the backpacker tax was further exposed at the Senate Economics Committee hearing yesterday with the Turnbull Government’s arrogance on full display.

We found out that the Parliament process is obsolete, as the Turnbull Government is already spruiking the new tax measures in the UK without legislation even passing the Parliament.

We found out that the Passenger Movement Charge was introduced with zero consultation from the tourism or agriculture industries.

We found out that none of second round negative effects have been taken into account with regards to the impact of the tax measures.

We found out that the National Farmers’ Federation and other key stakeholders groups know that there has been a decline of up to 40 to 90 percent in backpacker numbers.

We found out that the labour shortages caused by the drop off in backpackers will hit rural and regional Australia harder than our capital cities.

We found out that the Treasury knows that it has “less information than would be ideal” with regards to economic forecasting.

Yet the Turnbull Government expected Labor to pass the revised backpacker tax despite three other new taxes being rolled into the ill-conceived cash grab.

Labor will continue investigate the impact on the tax through the Senate Committee process to ensure that the impact of the tax measures are fully understood and that any unintended consequences are taken into consideration, before the legislation is debated in the Senate.