The agricultural industry, together with hospitality and tourism, remain on tenterhooks following the rejection of the Coalition’s backpacker tax proposal by the Senate earlier today and their endorsement of a lower 10.5 per cent tax rate.
With only one sitting week remaining for the year in which a fair and reasonable tax rate could be negotiated, WAFarmers Chief Executive Officer Stephen Brown urged all parties to come together and make a decision that would keep the Australian working holiday maker wage competitive with other markets.
“We are incredibly frustrated that a late position from Labor and Senator Lambie and the subsequent support from the Greens and key crossbenchers has thrown what we considered to be a reasonable and competitive 19 per cent tax rate out the window,” Mr Brown said.
“If a resolution is not reached next week the 32.5 tax rate will be enforced from 1 January, and this is not an outcome that will bode well for the agricultural, tourism and hospitality sectors, or the Australian economy as a whole.
“Submissions to the various inquiries by WAFarmers, and NFF and other industry stakeholders have shown that a 19 per cent tax rate is a pathway through this issue that is acceptable to both the employers and backpackers.
“It is time that the crossbenchers and the Opposition listen to industry and pass the Bills before the Parliament, to finally put the issue to bed.
“Enough is enough – end the uncertainty and make a decision.”
All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Melanie Dunn on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].