Despite initially resisting calls to scrap the controversial 'backpacker tax' for those on the popular Australian working holiday visa for young people on 1 March 2016 – the Australian government has succumbed to pressure, taking the decision to dump the controversial plans. The move comes amid concerns from farmers facing a potential labour shortage during harvest times.
News has the following to say:
This is good news. The Australian Government realises the importance of the working holiday visa scheme to the Australian Government. This compares to the UK where it seems underhand tactics are being used to reduce immigration. It seems that people who provide helpful services to immigrants tend to be undermined by UK immigration. Those who create an anti-immigrant xenophobic atmosphere tend to be rewarded.
There is even strong evidence confirming that at least one organisation sponsored by the UK Home Office has fabricated false documentation. This shocking level of dishonesty is not something that we should expect to see from an organisation that apparently has official Government approval. There is also evidence that the organisation has hindered criminal investigation of fraudsters. After the Jimmy Saville paedophile scandal it is surely to be hoped that "cover ups" are no longer tolerated. It is also surely important that the UK keeps to high moral standards. Terrorists and others will use failings in the system such as obvious cases of dishonesty against the UK. We also take this opportunity to express our sincerest sympathies to all the victims of the shocking terrorist outrage in Brussels.
The 'backpacker tax' would have seen travellers on working holidaymaker visas forced to pay 32.5% on every dollar earned, having previously had to pay no tax up to an income of AUS$18,000 (£9,500).
However, with backpackers accounting for the majority of fruit pickers during harvest times, farmers said that the tax hike would have severely hindered their supply of 'backpacker labour.'