Janelle Saffin and Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs Joel Fitzgibbon discuss the proposed backpacker tax outside Janelle’s office.
Janelle Saffin and Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs Joel Fitzgibbon discuss the proposed backpacker tax outside Janelle’s office. Marc Stapelberg

Backpacker tax: Cut it in half or scrap it?

MEMBER for Page Kevin Hogan will put forward a 19% backpacker tax proposal to replace the current 32.5% rate that has had farmers and small business owners up in arms.

"The review will report back within six months on a new proposal," he said.

"I am being told by farmers that rate of tax at 19 per cent would work.

"They believe the backpackers would still come and the government would still raise revenue.

"It is what I will be putting to the review."

The tax on working holiday makers in Australia has left farmers and business owners concerned about losing the casual employees.

The National Farmers' Federation launched an online campaign last week calling for the compromised 19% tax rate, but Treasurer Scott Morrison did not address a question by the ABC on whether he would be willing to consider the new rate.

On a visit to the Northern Rivers today, Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, Joel Fitzgibbon, said a six month review was not good enough.

"We are absolutely determined that there will be no backpacker tax on July 3," he said.

"This government is misleading the community, it says it's going to review the backpacker tax, now this will be the third review ... they are booking all the revenue from the backpacker tax over four years, so it's clear their intention is to take this revenue and run."

In last week's Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook it was revealed the Turnbull government still expects to earn $500 million from the backpacker tax.

"After 12 months of dysfunction backpackers have already fallen away substantially," Mr Fitzgibbon said.

"We cannot wait another six weeks, the government should deal with this tax now.

"When it gives up the revenue we'll take it at its word they are not going to implement this tax."



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