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Final resolution for the Backpacker Tax after Greens side with Government in dying hours of the last sitting day in 2016



The Backpacker Tax will be 15 per cent after the Greens sided with the government on the last parliamentary sitting day for 2016. Throughout the week various proposals from multiple parties were floated to bring about a resolution.


Earlier on Thursday the government stayed firm in its support for the tax to be 15 per cent, despite pressure from the Senate Crossbench and Federal Opposition that the tax should be either 13 per cent or 10.5 per cent. Earlier this week the government lost a vote in the Senate which would have seen the 15 per cent proposal become law.


Thursday 1 December was the last Parliamentary sitting day making the need for a resolution dire. If no resolution is sought then the original 32.5 per cent tax rate would be applied from 1 January 2017.


The higher new tax rate has seen seasonal workers in agriculture and tourism virtually dry up. The National Farmers’ Federation has been lobbying for parliament to agree to the 15 per cent rate saying that enough is enough. While their preference is for the 15 per cent tax rate, they were also agreeable to the 13 per cent rate as long as it was decided before parliament rose for the year.