Backpacker tax compromise: Take two

The federal government appear to have reached yet another backpacker-tax compromise, hours before final adjournment. 

The crossbench are determined to stop a 32 per cent tax-rate rise coming into effect next year and Labor and the Greens refuse to budge on – what they believe to be a fair and competitive – 10.5 per cent tax rate.

The relief of Agriculture bodies was short-lived on Wednesday, when a 15 per cent tax rate compromise – that passed in Parliament – was undone in the Senate. 

In a tweet this morning, Derryn Hinch indicated a 13 per cent deal had been discussed overnight. 

Victorian Farmers Federation horticulture vice-president Emma Germano said that if this issue wasn’t resolved today farmers would suffer the most and consumers would pay more for fresh food, with fruit likely to be left rotting on trees and vines, and vegetables rotting in the ground.

“From March this year we have said that we would be happy with a 15 to 19 per cent tax rate which would make us internationally competitive,” she said. 

“Our thinking from the beginning was ‘let them get paid well because it goes back into the economy’. 

“On behalf on the industry and the tens of thousands of farms and businesses that rely on a harvest each and every year for their livelihood, I implore for the politics to be put aside and the interests of the Australian community to be put first.”

More to come. 


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