Labor’s deferral of backpacker tax outrages ag sector

WAFarmers has joined the National Farmers Federation and state farming organisations in condemning the Australian Labor Party for referring the revised backpacker tax plan to the Senate Economics Committee for review.

Two weeks after the Federal Government announced their intention to drop the proposed tax rate of 32.5 per cent to 19 per cent, the Labor Party today announced their intention to refer the backpacker tax to the Senate Economics Committee, a move which has outraged the agricultural sector.

WAFarmers Chief Executive Officer Stephen Brown said the move was an unwelcome surprise to the agricultural sector.

“Since the backpacker tax was proposed in the 2015-16 Federal Budget, WAFarmers, alongside the NFF and industry stakeholder groups, campaigned tirelessly to highlight how the introduction of the backpacker tax would not only harm the agricultural industry, but also tourism and rural and regional businesses,” Mr Brown said.

“To have this hard work thrown back in our faces by the ALP is an insult, especially when it comes so soon after the Federal Government’s announcement that they would back down on their original proposal.

“Already backpackers have been changing their travel plans in favour of other countries, and we can only see this trend continuing if the government doesn’t get their act together and pass these Bills as quickly as possible.

“This is an unnecessary and distressing delay for the agricultural and tourism sectors, backpackers and employers, and will cost the economy thousands of dollars every day that it is delayed.”

Should the Bills be referred to the Senate Economics Committee, findings will be reported on 7 November 2016.

ENDS.

All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Melanie Dunn on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].

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