FARMERS are standing by their support of a 15 per cent backpacker tax, National Farmers Federation chief executive officer Tony Mahar says.
Mr Mahar’s comments follow the shock defeat of the proposed tax rate in the senate this morning. Instead the senate supported Labor’s proposed 10.5pc tax rate.
The issue will now go back to the house of representatives, adding to the frustration of farmers who fear the agricultural labour force will be decimated by the political brinkmanship.
“We believe that this rate (15pc) is fair, internationally competitive and recognises the unique nature of seasonal work,” Mr Mahar said.
“We don’t believe that backpackers should pay less tax than those on the Seasonal Worker Program.
“Our members will not be bullied on this issue and today’s antics in the senate show contempt for farmers and growers in desperate need of a resolution.
“Enough is enough. We need this issue put to bed, once and for all.”