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Fix for the Backpacker Tax needs swift resolution: cotton industry

Cotton Australia has joined the chorus of representative organisations calling on federal parliamentarians to swiftly pass the Bill to fix the Backpacker Tax.

The Bill, which was due to be introduced into Federal Parliament on October 11, 2016, would tax working holiday makers at 19%, a fairer rate than the 32.5% originally proposed by the Australian Government.

The original proposal was first flagged in the 2015 Federal Budget but drew strong opposition from farmers, the tourism industry and others, who gathered together to urge the Government to revise its plans and introduce a fairer scheme at a lower rate.

"The original Backpacker Tax was so high it would have scared backpackers away, disadvantaging Australian industries competing for seasonal labour and creating enormous problems for industries sourcing seasonal workers," says Cotton Australia General Manager, Michael Murray.

"After months and months of debate, we were pleased the Government finally listened to farmers and tourism operators and reduced the tax rate for backpackers, making us more competitive against countries like New Zealand and Canada, and giving growers some confidence they can source labour at critical periods in the season."

"Now is the time to implement the Backpacker Tax fix, before confidence amongst overseas working holiday makers erodes any further than it already has."

"Cotton Australia urges all federal legislators to put their support behind the fix so that hard-working farmers can source much-needed workers for harvest time."

"If this legislation is not passed swiftly, it can only do even more damage to cotton growers, other farmers and our tourism industry."

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