Greens oppose tax change

11-07-2018 by admin

SOLIDARITY: Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson has stepped out in opposition of the proposed “backpacker tax” that would remove the tax-free threshold for working holiday makers. Removingthe tax-free threshold for visiting backpackers would bea “double-whammy hit” to the state’s economy, Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson says.
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The Greens have moved in opposition to theproposed “backpacker tax” and Senator Whish-Wilson stood in solidarity with Top-Qual Orchards’ Brad Ashlin at Sidmouth on Monday.

The backpack tax, that was expected to come into effect on July 1 but has been pushed back six months as the subject of a review, proposed to reduce the tax-free threshold from all earnings.

It would mean working holiday makers would be taxed at a rate of 32.5 per cent from the first dollar they earned. Currently, the tax-free threshold is in place, that means tax is only paid on money earned above$18,200.

The tax was expected to pass the Senate and come into effect in July but a review of the proposal was initiated and is headed by Liberal Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck.

Senator Whish-Wilson said the tax would hit both agriculture and tourism in Tasmania.

“Not only will it mean that our vineyards and orchards will miss out on accessing seasonal workers during the critical picking window, but the tourism industry will miss out on the backpacker spending on food and accommodation,” he said.

“These young people come to Tasmania to see our amazing landscapes and being able to do some seasonal work is what makes it possible. Almost every cent they earn gets reinvested in local businesses.

“Putting a new tax on young holidaymakers’ meagre earnings will make them think twice about coming to Tasmania and they will choose destinations like New Zealand instead,” Senator Whish-Wilson said.

Senator Whish-Wilson said backpackers and other working holiday makers filled a need in the agriculture industry.

“Whilst many Tasmanian companies rightly have an ’employ locals first’ policy, backpackers are able to fill the very short term, high intensity labour requirements of some segments of the agricultural industry such as fruit picking.

“The Liberals have introduced this new tax on Tasmania and are now in a panic trying to pretend it won’t go ahead, yet it still remains in the budget.

“Only the Greens oppose the backpacker tax and we will be talking to the Tasmanian community about it throughout the entire election campaign,” he concluded.

A decision on the backpacker tax was expected to be announced in this year’s federal budget but Treasurer Scott Morrison did not provide any clarity on the issue.

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