A new nationwide poll has slammed the Federal Government’s plan to hike its holiday tax – the Passenger Movement Charge – on the millions of Australians and international visitors departing the country on aeroplanes and cruise ships from 1 July 2017.
The poll of 1,000 people across the country has revealed that close to three in five Australians (58.6 per cent) disagree or strongly disagree with the Federal Government’s plan to increase the Passenger Movement Charge to $60 from 1 July 2017.
The Federal Government included the proposed increase in the holiday tax – without any consultation or forewarning to industry – as part of its revised backpacker tax package. The legislation is due to be debated in the Senate next week following the conclusion of an inquiry over the past two weeks.
According to the poll, a paltry 3 per cent of people support any further increases in the holiday tax with 29 per cent supporting a lower rate and 19 per cent saying it should be abolished entirely.
More people (23.3 per cent) support the $750 million profit the Federal Government reaps from the holiday tax being reinvested back into the tourism industry than going into consolidated revenue (20.8 per cent).
A clear majority of those surveyed (52.6 per cent) believe that reducing the cost of travelling to Australia should be a priority for the Federal Government with two in five people (40.56 per cent) indicating that the holiday tax influences their holiday planning.
TTF CEO Margy Osmond said the Federal Government should simply scrap its decision to increase the holiday tax on travellers and instead work with industry to make Australia a more competitive destination for visitors.
“The Federal Government’s plan to increase the holiday tax to $60 on every traveller leaving the country on an aeroplane or cruise ship is short-sighted at best and economic sabotage at worst,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.
“You don’t have to be Einstein to work out that if you want to encourage more people to visit your country you should be reducing the cost of travel not adding to it by hiking the Federal Government’s holiday tax.
“Labor, the Greens and the crossbench Senators need to draw a line in the sand on behalf of the tourism industry and say no more to the industry being treated as a ‘cash cow’ by successive Federal Governments.
“Over the coming decades, the tourism industry is going to be called upon to do more of the heavy lifting in providing the jobs and economic growth that will sustain the Australian economy and our envied quality of life. Burdening the industry with higher taxes is not the way to allow the visitor economy to reach its full potential.
“TTF tabled an economic analysis by KPMG to the Senate inquiry into the Federal Government’s working holiday maker reforms that confirmed there is no economic need to increase the holiday tax the package more than ‘washes its face’ without the holiday tax hike.
“I’m calling on behalf of the tourism industry for Labor, the Greens and the crossbench Senators to separate the holiday tax hike legislation from the working holiday maker reforms and vote against this measure that would increase the holiday tax to $240 for a family of four leaving Australia.”
TTF Passenger Movement Charge Poll Results
Q. From 1 July 2017 the Federal Government is planning to increase the Passenger Movement Charge from $55 to $60. The increase is to help make up a shortfall in the general budget. Do you agree with this decision?
Q.The Passenger Movement Charge raises nearly $1 billion a year. The average cost of providing passenger facilitation (customs, border security) at international gateways is $250 million. That represents a $750 million profit for the Federal Government. Which of these statements do you support? (Tick all that apply)
|The Charge should be lowered
|The Charge should be increased further
|The Charge is the right amount
|The Charge should be abolished entirely
|The surplus revenue should be invested back into the tourism industry
|The surplus revenue should go into general revenue
|None of the above
Q. Do you believe reducing the cost of travel to and from Australia should be a priority for the Federal Government?
Q. Does a holiday tax of $60 per person or $240 for a family of four (over 12 years) influence your holiday planning?