BACKPACKER TAX BILL IN WITNESS PROTECTION

The Government has not listed the backpacker tax bill for debate in the Senate tomorrow.

We should not be surprised. Barnaby Joyce has stooped to a new low by blatantly lying to those who will be most affected by the Government’s ill-conceived tax.
 
The 32 per cent backpacker tax was announced by his Government in the 2015 budget.
 
Soon after the tax was announced Barnaby Joyce defended his 32 per cent tax rate in an interview with Leigh Sales on the 15 May 2015.
 
Sales: Some farmers rely a lot on backpackers to help them with seasonal work, for example, fruit picking, but changes in the Budget this year mean that those workers now won't get any sort of a tax-free threshold. What happens to farmers' labour supply if travellers decide, "Oh, well you know what? Maybe New Zealand or Indonesia's a bit more lucrative for me"?
                                  
Joyce: Well I think the vast majority come here because we still have a great wage rate. Australians, Leigh, have to work the full year to get the tax-free threshold. It does seem a little bit incongruous that someone can work four months, five months, six months and get a tax-free threshold because that actually puts them at a strategic advantage on two levels to their other Australian workers.
 
Barnaby Joyce fails to understand that backpackers rarely earn more than the tax free threshold of $18,200.
 
Barnaby Joyce is calling on hard working farmers who desperately need backpackers to contact everyone else but him to try and fix his mess.
 
Fortunately I can share some comments with Barnaby Joyce and my direct comment to him is;  “stop playing political games, admit you got it wrong,  and support a more competitive rate”.
 
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What is it with Barnaby Joyce, that he talks so much rubbish about the backpacker tax ?
Listening to him speaking on an RN interview this morning, I wonder how he ever came to hold the position he does.
He appears to ignore the fact that farmers are losing the backpacker support they need so much because of this nonsense about taxing backpackers at some absurd rate.
 
All he seems able to do is make ridiculous assertions about those who are posing common sense suggestions on this matter. His base  political rhetoric will solve nothing.
 
Once again the National Party is abandoning the interests and welfare of farmers.
There are crops ready to pick, that will rot while this ridiculous government-inspired  rhetoric continues.
Of course backpackers will go elsewhere if it becomes not worth their while to do the hard work of fruit picking in Australia.
Somehow Mr Joyce refuses to see this basic fact that is plain for everyone else (except government politicians ) to see.
 
Why is the National Party so devoted to ignoring the interests of farming communities ?
 
There was a time when a shortage of nurses and teachers in the UK resulted in a policy whereby Australians and New Zealanders could work in those professions for two years without being taxed. After that point they had to leave the UK, but the plan worked well for many young travellers.
It seems impossible for the Turnbull government to think creatively in this way, as is so evident across the rest of their policies.
"Agile"?  I don't think so.
 
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“I am a farmer and have employed backpackers in the past and I congratulate you on the stand you are taking on behalf farmers in regards to the back packer tax”
 
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This government is discriminating against our vital backpackers and is introducing a new discriminatory tax aimed at taking a third of backpackers earnings.
 
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Presuming this is accurate there is no impediment to Labor opposing the Backpacker Tax in the Senate. The NFF is pulling everybody's chain claiming otherwise. If Labor takes this chance and dumps the BP tax it is all upside, Joel will get respect from the bush.
 
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Our farmers need a competitive rate and they need certainty. 
 
Labor is ready to back them, but will Barnaby Joyce or does he really prefer is first preference of 32 per cent?


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