Category Archives: backpackers

There are 1.8 million people looking for work in Australia; immigration rate is unsustainable

by the ABC and Cairns News

Net migration of 245,400

Australia’s immigration rate has become unsustainable now that 1000 additional people entered the country each day up to June 2017.

Treasurer Scott Morrison is correct when he says there were 371,000 new jobs created over the past year.

Australia’s population swelled by 388,000 in the year until June — which is more than 1,000 people being added to our population every day.

However, it doesn’t necessarily make life any better for the people who live in the country and arguably, makes it a lot worse.

This is more people competing for jobs and housing, pushing down wages and pushing up property prices.

Australia’s population growth is extraordinarily high when compared to our global peers, at 1.6 per cent per year.

This is more than double the rate of the US, nearly three times the rate of the UK, and four times the rate of France.

On current projections, Australia will hit 38 million people by 2050.

This high rate of population growth is driven mostly by high immigration.

Middle Eastern migrants are piling on to the dole queue — with a 33 per cent jobless rate during their first five years in Australia. The Labor, Liberals and Greens are doing what that Fabian sycophant Bob Hawke did in the 80’s – importing potential voters

Net migration was 245,400 people over the past 12 months — which was a 27.1 per cent increase over the year before.

That’s more than the total population of Hobart in new migrants coming to the country in a single year.

Worse still, a large number of the migrants indentify as Muslim, unbalancing the nation’s Christian foundation and way of life.

The simple economic rule of supply and demand means these new workers effectively lower the price of labour, which means lower wages.

A huge intake of new workers makes economic sense if you don’t have enough workers in order to do the jobs you need to get done. But with 700,000 in the unemployment ranks already, we simply don’t need these migrants.

Immigration has been the foundation of Australia’s economic growth, so what would happen if we “close the door”? questions Ian Verrender.

It also makes sense to run a real skilled migration program in order to attract the talent you can’t train yourself.

For example, at the height of the mining investment boom, attracting talent from overseas made sense in many occupations to allow projects to be built.

Although be careful when talking about ‘skill shortages’. Often it isn’t a case of there not being enough people with those skills.

Instead, it’s a case of businesses not being willing to pay enough money to attract people and thus choosing to sponsor foreigners who will work for worse pay and conditions arriving on 457 and holiday visas.

Then to add insult to injury the Liberal Party Government slapped those back packers and overseas workers with a 15 per cent income tax. Previously they worked in the farming industry without paying any tax at all.

Farmers objected strongly saying crops would be left in paddocks to rot, because the majority backpacker workforce would not come to Australia for a working holiday on farms.

Consequently a group representing foreign backpackers has taken the government to court over what it says is an unfair tax.

Raw deal for Australian workers, where are the unions and the ALP?

Australia is not currently anywhere near full employment.

At 5.4 per cent unemployment, Australia is well above the US which is sitting at 4.1 per cent and the UK at 4.2 per cent.

There are currently 707,000 unemployed Australians. These are people actually looking for work.

But that’s only part of the story as there are currently about 1.1 million Australians who are ‘underemployed’.

These are people who are currently working (perhaps as little as one hour a week) but want to work more hours.

So the number of Australians currently looking for more work is 1.8 million.

There is still a huge amount of ‘slack’ in the labour market which is keeping people from getting a decent pay rise.

Companies are much less likely to offer big pay rises to workers if they know there’s a big supply of other workers who are desperate for a job or more hours.

What’s really worrying, is despite the Government crowing about creating ‘1,000 jobs a week’, there are only 20,000 less unemployed Australians than there were a year ago.

The economic ‘growth’ hasn’t made a sizeable difference to the amount of Australians unemployed and has left us with the worst wages growth since the 1960s.

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Backpacker tax under challenge in Federal Court

by ABC national rural reporter Brett Worthington

The validity of the Federal Government’s backpacker tax is under fire, a year on from the legislation passing the parliament.

It’s almost exactly a year since the Coalition struck a deal with the Greens to impose a 15 per cent tax rate on working holiday makers.

But proceedings initiated in the Queensland Federal Court today claim the backpacker tax breaches international treaties and discriminates against foreign workers.

The backpacker tax taxes all working holiday maker earnings at 15 per cent. Previously, they were eligible to earn up to $18,200 tax free.

The 15 per cent income tax imposed on backpackers by the Federal Government is being challenged in the Federal Court

Irish-based Taxback.com has initiated the legal action on behalf of workers from the United Kingdom, United States and Germany.

“There is a breach with double taxation agreements,” Taxback.com’s Eileen Devereaux told the ABC.

“There’s an audience that arguably don’t have a voice on the ground.”

The legal action claims the backpacker tax is in breach with treaties Australia has with the UK, US, Germany, Finland, Chile, Japan, Norway and Turkey.

Ms Devereaux said workers from these countries represent 50 per cent of people who travel to Australia on 417 and 462 working holiday visas.

A spokesman for Treasurer Scott Morrison said he could not comment on the matter because it was now before the court.

The news has come as a surprise to federal politicians and agricultural lobby groups.

All had assumed the debate was over and industries had adopted the new tax rates.

Prior to last year’s deal with the Greens, the backpack tax debate raged for 18 months, with the agricultural and tourism sectors claiming the uncertainty was harming their industries.

Ms Deveraux said international lawyers wrote to the government to flag their legal action in September.

She said the government responded to that letter and she hoped further negotiations would ensue.

Ms Devereaux said she hoped the government would seek to reinstate previous working holiday maker legislation to prevent the legal action from needing to proceed.

She said the backpacker tax risked giving Australia a poor international reputation.

“These individuals are de facto ambassadors for Australia,” Ms Devereaux said.

“They ultimately fuel the tourism industry and sector into the future when they bring back their various experiences of Australia locally.”