Backpacker Tax changes: gagged & goaded but no victory

18 October 2016:

Bob Katter

KAP Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter voted against the Backpacker Tax changes in the lower house today.

The proposed changes, implementing a 19.5 % instead of the originally touted 32.5% were eventually passed. Mr Katter is hardly surprised that the National Party has sold out on non-city Australia again.

Mr Katter spoke passionately against the supposed “reduction” that is being lauded as a victory by the LNP when in fact the Backpacker will still be paying significantly more.

Mr Katter said, “I was one of the few Representatives of a regional and tourism seat that got to speak on the Backpacker tax before the Government gaged debate, denying others to have their say.

We do not have any illusions that we are applying a tax of 30 per cent. It was a little bit over 30 per cent before, so there really has not been much change at all.

“We are going around clapping our hands and saying, ‘How wonderful!’

“You will not have a tourism industry if you take away the backpackers. One quarter of the Far North Queensland tourism industry is in fact the backpackers—and you have taken away their incentive to come here. Their wages, their incomes, have been cut by a third, and you are saying that will have no effect. Of course it will have an effect.”