The backpacker tax is yet another Turnbull Government stuff up.
Barnaby Joyce has this morning told Radio National that a final decision on the backpacker tax would be known well before the proposed January 1 commencement.
The problem for farmers is backpacker numbers started to drop off from Budget night 2015 when the Government first announced its ill-conceived tax.
Barnaby Joyce has never explained why the Government promoted the new tax in the first place.
However, Senate estimates may have provided the answer.
Asked whether the backpacker tax was considered as part of the Agriculture White Paper an official responded:-
Departmental official: “Labour supply issues generally were considered as part of the white paper. A number of submissions were made in relation to labour supply issues as part of the white paper. As it turns out, there were not any specific measures introduced in response to those at the time. However, of course, both the agriculture white paper and the northern Australian white paper needed funding to pay for them, and part of the source of the funding was from this particular measure” (SENATE ESTIMATES, 5 MAY 2016).
In other words, Barnaby Joyce fully considered the impacts of the backpackers tax and decided to grab its revenue at the expense of the agriculture sector.
This is the Government’s third backpacker tax review. The Government needs to start from scratch, listen to people, consider other proposals and apologise for the damage done.