May 20, 2016

PEFO confirms backpacker tax still on the menu

Today’s Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook statement has exposed the Turnbull Government’s lies on the backpacker tax.

The statement shows the Turnbull Government is still banking $500 million from the earnings of much-needed backpacker labour despite promising the tourism and agricultural sectors the tax is under review.

Liberal and Nationals members in rural and regional electorates have proven themselves lions in their electorates and cowards in Canberra.

They have been leading their constituents to believe the ill-conceived backpacker tax will be scrapped while at the same time booking its revenue for the next three years.

The Turnbull Government stands condemned for this sneaky and deceitful sleight-of-hand.

After more than twelve months of dysfunction which has seen backpacker numbers in decline, the sectors affected will be furious.

Companies and employers engaged with the Turnbull Government in good faith before the Budget to try and find a way forward – they were ignored then and are being ignored now.

Labor will continue to push the Turnbull Government to scrap the tax. If it won’t, we’ll be left to decide how we best help the sectors affected given the Government has left the $500 million in revenue in its bottom line.