Nov 9, 2016

Labor will oppose the passenger movement charge increase

Labor has announced we will oppose an increase in the Passenger Movement Charge.   This is consistent with our commitment at this year’s election, which was that we would not support any increase in the Passenger Movement Charge during this term.   The Coalition also made this same commitment at the election but has since back flipped.     Just weeks before the Coalition made this announcement the Minister for Tourism, Steven Ciobo, told the Parliament that previous increases in the Passenger Movement Charge were, “choking the golden goose that is Australia’s tourism industry.”   The Government’s proposal to increase the Passenger Movement Charge is an example of bad policy that has been created on the run without economic modelling or consultation.   Australia already has the second highest departure tax in the world after the UK Air Passenger Duty.   When you take into account short-haul sectors, such as trans-Tasman routes, Australia’s Passenger Movement Charge is in fact higher than the UK.   Deloitte recognises tourism as one of five super growth sectors.   Indeed, tourism employs more than one million Australians and is our largest services export.   Instead of taxing tourism more we should be looking at ways to grow the sector.   Labor took the Working Holidaymaker Reform Package to a Senate Enquiry to ensure there was a consultation process.   We have listened to the industry, which has rejected the Passenger Movement Charge increase, which our position reflects.