National Farmers' Federation

ALP backtracks on Backpacker Tax

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has been left dismayed by a statement on Friday from the Australian Labor Party (ALP) calling on the Government to scrap the ‘backpacker tax’ while simultaneously making no clear commitment to abolishing the tax if they are successful in the upcoming Federal Election. In a joint statement issued on Friday evening, Shadow Minister for Tourism, Anthony Albanese, and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Joel Fitzgibbon, said the backpacker tax was ill-conceived and noted the agriculture and tourism sectors had been ignored by the Coalition in its attempts to find a way forward. NFF President, Brent Finlay, welcomed ongoing recognition from Labor the tax was burdening the agriculture sector but encouraged the ALP to commit to scrapping the tax if elected on 2 July. “Last week, both Mr Fitzgibbon and ALP leader, Bill Shorten, made encouraging statements suggesting Labor would scrap the tax if given the opportunity to form government,” Mr Finlay said. “However, Friday’s statement makes no mention of Labor ridding the agriculture industry of the destructive tax despite it calling on the Coalition to do so. “During this election campaign, we ask all parties and candidates asking for our rural votes to support common sense measures in the best interests of the farming sector. “We now formally call on Labor to stop prevaricating and declare to the Australian people a Labor Government would act decisively to scrap the backpacker tax. “Agriculture’s enormous potential to become a $100 billion industry can only be achieved if we have enough human capital to deliver.” For further detail on what agriculture needs to build a stronger workforce and to see the NFF’s full list of 2016 election asks go to www.accelerateag.com

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