Have your say on backpacker tax

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt is encouraging people to have their say on a review of the backpacker tax.

The Coalition Government today announced the start of a review and public consultation on the broad range of issues affecting the supply and remuneration conditions of labour performed by Working Holiday Maker visa holders.

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Luke Hartsuyker – who has responsibility for agricultural workforce matters – will be leading the review.

Mr Pitt has welcomed the initiative and said it is essential to ensuring the government’s policy settings continue to meet growing demand for flexible labour, particularly in rural and regional Australia.

“Both farmers and tourism operators have expressed their opinions to me about the supply and taxation of working holiday visa holders, and I have listened to their concerns,” Mr Pitt said.

“The government recognises that the 200,000 plus working holiday makers who come here each year are a vital source of labour across the nation, which is why we have deferred for six months implementation of the so-called backpacker tax, pending the outcome of this review.”

The review will address the government’s terms of reference, which are focused around four key themes:

  1. Australia’s international competitiveness for backpackers
  2. seasonal and temporary jobs and projected growth in agriculture and tourism
  3. support for small businesses around engaging seasonal labour, and
  4. protections for vulnerable workers.

Mr Pitt said labour supply was a fundamental issue across the Hinkler electorate.

“As I’ve stated on many occasions, it is equally important that working holiday makers pay a fair level of tax while in Australia. However this is a complex issue that goes beyond the tax rate alone,” Mr Pitt said.

“I encourage everyone with an interest in these important issues to make a submission.”

Public submissions close on Friday, 2 September 2016. For more information or to make a submission, visit www.agriculture.gov.au/workingholidaymaker

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