AUSVEG welcomes likely backpacker tax deal

Australian vegetable industry body AUSVEG has welcomed the announcement of a likely compromise deal on the controversial “backpacker tax”, with the Government agreeing to a rate of 15 per cent, which is considerably less than the 19 per cent rate put to Parliament.

“It is good to see that the Government has responded to pressure from members of Parliament and industry groups to negotiate a compromise deal which ensures a fair deal for backpackers visiting Australia, and which is the same rate paid by workers under the Seasonal Worker Program,” said AUSVEG CEO Simon Bolles.

“We’re grateful that this debate has finally been put to bed and Australia’s vegetable growers can have certainty going forward about this crucial source of labour.”

“Thanks to the strong ongoing advocacy from a number of industry groups, including AUSVEG, the incoming backpacker tax rate is now comparable with our international competitors for these working holiday makers,” said Mr Bolles.

“We are thankful for the bipartisanship which will likely see a revised deal of 15 per cent be passed by the Parliament, and we are thankful for the many politicians who have stood up on this critical issue.”

“AUSVEG, along with other groups, have spent considerable resources and held numerous meetings with politicians throughout Australia to fight this tax.”

“Should this compromise position pass both houses, as expected, we would note the importance of industry consultation in all stages of policy development – including at the outset.”

Given the declining trend in backpacker numbers over recent years, AUSVEG will continue to monitor the number of working holiday makers coming to Australia under the new tax rate.

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