Australia Compromises on 15% 'Backpacker Tax'

Last week, independent senator Jacqui Lambie's proposal for a 10.5% tax rate was blocked by the House of Representatives.

"That means this week, hopefully even today, this matter is resolved", he said in Canberra.

"Further, there should not be any negative impact from the 15 per cent tax rate for Australian workers in the industry as they will still receive the $18,200 tax free threshold".

What the Labor Party have done is they've said they want a lower rate of tax - remember, they were asking for 10.5 cents.

FEDERAL Treasurer Scott Morrison has announced support for a compromised 15 per cent backpacker tax that he's hopeful will pass federal parliament this week during the final sitting week of 2016.

Mr Morrison took aim at Labor hypocrisy over the issue.

He said he had put the government's new position to One Nation leader Pauline Hanson by phone this morning.

"This matter has gone through needless difficulty because of the bloody mindedness and the political game machine playing of the Labor Party which we see writ large every single day".

"They wanted a lower rate of tax for foreign workers and they wanted that to be paid for around it will have to be paid for, by Australian taxpayers".

"It means that we will be able to move forward and the Parliament will now have a $120 million bill to deal with as a result of making this change".

The additional $120 million cost of the compromise would be dealt with in the mid-year budget update, Mr Morrison said, so that it would "wash its face".

"I am absolutely thrilled with it, common sense had prevailed here", Senator Hanson said.

Growcom chairman Les Williams said a tax rate needed to be negotiated and agreed on by all parties before the "draconian" 32.5% tax rate was foisted on backpackers from January 1.

The National Farmers' Federation said the compromise was welcome and the Senate should pass the bill expeditiously.

NFF CEO Tony Mahar said it had been a painful process but expressed gratitude a 15pc compromise rate had been reached.

The government has made a second back down in as many months on the backpacker tax.

"At 15 per cent Tasmanian farmers still don't have a guarantee that the global workers will come, the fruit will be picked and all those full time Australian jobs will be protected", she said.

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