The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has welcomed the commencement of the Federal Government’s working holiday maker visa review and will be making the strongest case on behalf of the tourism industry for the Government to abandon the backpacker tax.
“TTF was one of the first industry groups to sound the alarm on the impact of the backpacker tax when it was included in the 2015 Federal Budget and we will continue to campaign for the Federal Government to abandon this ill-considered cash grab,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.
“Industry wants to work in a positive and supportive manner with the Federal Government to grow the sector but a 32.5 per cent tax on backpackers on every single dollar they earn while working in Australia is simply absurd.
“Industry groups such as the National Farmers’ Federation and TTF have made it very clear that introducing this damaging tax will have negative impact on the number of people choosing a working holiday in Australia and that will make it even harder for farmers and tourism operators to secure their workforce.
“Over the past couple of years we have seen a marked decline in the number of applicants for working holiday visas as successive Governments have ratcheted up the cost of these visas, now they are also going to be slugged this new 32.5 per cent backpacker tax. Something is going to give and it will be an exodus of working holiday makers to other countries rather than Australia.
“The best outcome from the working holiday maker visa review is simply for the Government scrap the backpacker tax and work with industry to increase the number of working holiday makers coming to Australia.”