14 May 2015

The budget changes mean backpackers who undertake jobs like fruitpicking will be taxed at 32.5 cents from the first dollar they earn. This is counterproductive.

Image result for picking fruit australia
Short sighted action on backpackers, not thought out says industry

The budget changes mean backpackers who undertake jobs like fruitpicking will be taxed at 32.5 cents from the first dollar they earn, to generate more than $500 million in revenue.
The cost of applying for a working holiday visa will also rise from $420 to $440.
Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey said the moves were aimed at “levelling the playing field” and ensuring everyone is paid their fair share.
But tourism industry leaders have slammed the tax rate hikes as “bad for tourism” and farmers are concerned they will not be able to be competitive without them. These jobs are very short time jobs and are not usually close to towns, so unemployed people are very unlikely to take them up because of the costs associated with travel etc. Backpackers however do these jobs for little money and they look  on them as part of their experience in this country.
Backpackers are people who want to work in order to make money to see more of Australia and they spend every cent in Australia. While here they are not entitled to any of the benefits that other taxpayers have so why tax them they are not costing us anything?
The thing with backpackers here is, they’ve had the initiative to come to another country and work wherever, to make a dollar to continue to see more of the country.
“Backpackers stay an average of 73 nights and spend over $5400 while Working holiday backpackers have an extended stay averaging eight months and spend over $13,000 each.”
Youth Hostels Association CEO Julian Ledger said there was no benefit to the Australian economy of taxing backpackers too highly.
It just means less money in their pockets to spend going to Uluru, going to the Great Barrier Reef etc.
It’s casual work. It’s not work that advances your career. The wages are low to begin with.
A stupid idea that will backfire!

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