6 Responses

  1. Rosalie Schultz
    Rosalie Schultz December 2, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    As far as agriculture, international development and economic coherence I understand and support this tax.

    I wonder whether through increasing the costs borne by farmers, the backpacker tax could lead to increased costs of fruit – really a detrimental outcome from a dietary perspective?

  2. Kevin V Russell
    Kevin V Russell September 28, 2016 at 7:05 am

    Seasonal workers should pay tax like everybody else. Problem solved.

  3. Anthony Swan
    Anthony Swan September 15, 2016 at 10:53 am

    The uneven application of labour market testing seems completely absurd. Surely it should just go.

    1. Stephen Howes
      Stephen Howes September 15, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      Yes, it’s a difficult issue. I criticized the Parliamentary inquiry on the SWP for not being clear on this ie only saying that the two programs should have consistent requirements, but not saying whether the testing should be expanded or abolished. But it is not easy to resolve. In my submission, I assume that the government won’t give up labour market testing, and then I think it should also be applied to backpackers. But I agree with you, the best course of action would be just to give up on labour market testing, at least in horticulture.

  4. Garth Luke
    Garth Luke September 15, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Does New Zealand offer better policy coherence in this area Stephen?

    1. Stephen Howes
      Stephen Howes September 15, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      Hi Garth,

      Certainly much more policy coherence than Australia. First, NZ introduced its SWP (the RSE) before reforming its backpacker visa. Second, if a backpacker works on a farm in NZ for three months, they can get another visa, but only for another three months not another year. Some 20% of backpackers coming to Australia end up staying on permanently. For them, the second-year visa is a crucial part of their migration strategy and so a very powerful incentive. A 3-month extension is nothing compared to this. I don’t have the exact numbers on backpackers in horticulture in NZ, but there are far fewer total backpackers in NZ than Australia (about a quarter), and far more seasonal workers in New Zealand (about twice as many).

      Stephen

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