Government settles for 15% backpacker tax

DESPITE fighting for a backpacker tax rate of 19%, Federal member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker settled for 15% after yet another compromise by the Coalition government.

The Coalition reached agreement with crossbench senators to reduce the backpacker tax on Monday.

Mr Hartsuyker lamented Labor, which remained committed to a 10.5% backpacker tax, and conceded the latest tax figure was workable.

"Despite Labor's wrecking, the Government has reached a workable compromise on the backpacker tax at 15%," Mr Hartsuyker wrote on Twitter.

Mr Hartsuyker said the 15% backpacker tax brought Australia in-line with New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Even though New Zealand had a 10.5% backpacker tax, Mr Hartsuyker said the wages across the Tasman were far lower than in Australia.

Mr Hartsuyker said other elements of the working holiday maker reform package were passed Parliament last week.

He said legislation was in the works to raise the age limit of the working holiday visa from 18 to 30 to 18 up to 35.

This was backed up with a reduction in price of the working holiday visa, from $440 to $390 which would take action next year.

Mr Hartsuyker said a $10 million advertising campaign had also been launched to promote Australian working holidays overseas.

"I led the comprehensive interdepartmental review of the working holiday maker issue, receiving submissions from around 1700 stakeholders," he said.

"Following the review, the government announced a fully-funded and industry-supported reform package.

"Industry stakeholders in Cowper and across the country made it clear that they just wanted this issue resolved. The government has negotiated in good faith with crossbench senators to deliver this positive outcome."

President of the International Blueberry Organisation, Peter McPherson, welcomed the new figure.

"Common sense prevails," Mr McPherson said.

Mr McPherson said the backpacker tax was now acceptable and it was time to move on following the months of discussion.

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