A desperate Malcolm Turnbull is now following Barnaby Joyce's lead by lying to the Australian people - and he must apologise today.
Today Mr Turnbull said that:
“Mr Shorten is supporting the proposition that foreign backpackers, foreign workers, should pay no tax at all. So that if you have a foreign worker, a backpacker working picking fruit next to an Australian, the Australian will be paying tax but the foreigner won't”.
This is a bald-faced lie.
He knows it because last week Labor released figures demonstrating that foreign backpackers will always pay more tax than Aussies under our fair and sensible 10.5 per cent tax rate proposal.
Australian workers’ pay no tax at all up to $18,200 in earnings. With a 10.5 per cent tax rate for backpackers from the first dollar they earn, that there is no level of income at which Australians will pay more tax than working holidaymakers.
The Government did not, and could not, refute these figures. Instead, Mr Turnbull doubled down today by lying to Australians.
Our rural and regional communities desperately need the backpacker tax issue put to bed. They expect more than this outright dishonesty from a desperate Prime Minister.
Labor stood ready to pass the Bill last week if the Government compromised on the 10.5 per cent tax rate that industry, regional communities and even members of the Senate crossbench are calling for.
Malcolm Turnbull needs to stop lying to Australians and sit down with Labor to get this tax fixed. He is now the only thing standing in the way of a fair deal for our farmers and regional communities.