Tax changes save Irish backpackers in Australia thousands of dollars
Australian farmers and backpackers can sigh with relief after Australian Senate passed a bill that taxes backpackers at 15pc, not at a much higher proposed rate.
Thousands of backpackers work on Australian farms when travelling and are required to work in regional areas to obtain a second year visa.
However, a proposal had been put forward for a tax on backpackers income of 32.5pc, but farmers said the tax would stop young people travelling to Australia for working holidays and farmers, in turn, would not have enough seasonal workers.
The National Farmers’ Federation has said that backpackers should pay 15pc tax and not less than those on the Seasonal Worker Program.
Almost 60pc of international backpackers surveyed by Monash University said they would not have went to Australia if they were taxed at 32.5pc.
Some 200,000 backpackers travel to Australia every year on 12-month working holiday visas and over 30,000 take seasonal work on Australian farms picking fruit and vegetables and in some agricultural areas they make up around 80pc of the seasonal workforce.
National Farmers Federation say that worker numbers have already dropped by 7,000 this year from 40,000 three years ago.