The stupidity of a Labor Party proposal to tax Australian workers more than foreign backpackers has been lambasted by the Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton.
Mr Coulton, whose electorate covers more than half the land mass of New South Wales, said the Labor-One Nation-Jacqui Lambie pact to sledge Australian workers with a higher tax rate than overseas backpackers is an idiotic proposal that would damage the country’s agricultural industries.
“The opposition’s plan to reduce the so-called backpacker tax from 19 per cent to 10.5 per cent would see Australians working alongside overseas backpackers, doing the same work in the same field, orchard or shed, but paying more tax” Mr Coulton said.
Mr Coulton said the proposal for inequitable tax rates for Australian workers and overseas backpackers would reduce the incentive to those living in regional Australia to compete with overseas workers for jobs.
“This proposal is coming from a party which purports to represent the rights of Australian workers – it is ludicrous and nothing but a cynical ploy by Labor to play politics with the agricultural sector” he said.
Mr Coulton said Labor’s ill-conceived tactics completely ignored the Government’s resolution, which was applauded by the National Farmers’ Federation, to reduce the tax rate for working holiday makers from a proposed 32.5% to 19%.
“The Coalition’s reform package has come after extensive consultation with industry, and is aimed at ensuring certainty for farmers so they could plan to hire backpackers, whereas the Labor-One Nation-Jacqui Lambie plan will pitch Australian workers against overseas backpackers under circumstances which will only create division and disharmony” Mr Coulton added.
Mr Coulton said the Opposition’s last minute proposal would place the passage of legislation for the backpacker tax in jeopardy which could result in backpackers being liable for the 32.5% tax rate from 1 January 2017.