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Greens announce end to backpacker tax deadlock and $100mil for Landcare

Senator Di Natale, Australian Greens Leader said today, “This is a victory for farmers who have been watching their fruit wither and die on the vine. Farmers have already lost tens of thousands of dollars waiting for politicians in Canberra to agree on an outcome. With this agreement, they will wait no longer.

“Rural communities have been desperate for someone to clean up this mess with a sensible solution and the Greens have heard them.”

“Our sensible circuit breaker has delivered farmers the certainty they’ve been calling for. The Government has made a complete hash of this issue but we are pleased that common sense has prevailed today.

“The Greens were not willing to stand by and risk the tax rate for backpackers jumping to 32%; that would have been a disaster not just for farmers, but for entire rural communities and the tourism industry as a whole.

"The compromise we’ve struck with the Government will see backpackers taxed at a nominal rate of 15 percent, but at the same time the tax rate on their 9.5% superannuation will drop from 95 to 65 percent. This is an outcome that will place this new package at an equivalent rate to the 13 percent favoured by Labor and some crossbenchers.  

“The agreement on super is an especially good outcome for rural economies. This is money that will be spent in rural communities, providing a much-needed boost for rural economies.

“At the same time as we’ve been able to deliver certainty to farmers, we have secured a big victory for our environment, with the Government pledging $100 million for Landcare.

“This is significant. Around half a billion dollars has been gutted from Landcare in recent years and this agreement goes a long way towards restoring the funding this long-standing and effective program that farmers have been calling for.

“This funding is a giant first step in fulfilling our election pledge to put over $770 million back into Landcare. This money will help to fund community revegetation and landscape rehabilitation projects.

The Australian Greens have secured:
•    Nominal tax rate of 15 percent but at the same time the tax rate on their 9.5% superannuation will drop from 95 to 65 percent. 
•    This amounts to a revenue neutral solution which will be equivalent to the 13 percent tax rate offered by Labor and the crossbench, but which has the added bonus of ensuring that more money is spent in local communities. 
•    $100 million for Landcare (a program that helps farmers with natural resource management, weeds and pest control) which is an important step towards returning the funding that was cut in the first Abbott Budget

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