TAX TIME: Keith Pitt says a 19% figure tax rate was agreed on after negotiations with agriculture and tourism industry stakeholders.
TAX TIME: Keith Pitt says a 19% figure tax rate was agreed on after negotiations with agriculture and tourism industry stakeholders. Max Fleet BUN131115PITT3

Time to deal with backpacker tax running out: Pitt

HINKLER MP Keith Pitt has called upon Senate crossbenchers to stop holding Australian farmers to ransom and finalise the backpacker tax to the agreed upon 19%.

The Senate agreed to an amended 10.5% backpacker tax rate on Thursday, supported by Labor, the Greens and key crossbenchers.

But the lower tax rate proposal was rejected by the House of Representatives.

The Coalition will attempt to put the 19% rate back on the table again next week.

"The instability and uncertainty has been incredibly unhelpful, the people it damages are the ones in the regions, particularly our farming communities," Mr Pitt said.

"The 19% figure is an agreed position. We've come to that after negotiations with agriculture and tourism industry stakeholders.

"The backpacker tax needs to be finalised and it needs to be done before next Thursday."

Growcom chairman Les Williams said a tax rate needed to be negotiated and agreed on by all parties before the "draconian" 32.5% tax rate was foisted on backpackers from January 1.

"This is a disgraceful political shambles of the highest order," Mr Williams said.

"Growers don't care who started it, they only care that for the past 18 months no-one has actually managed to get an agreed rate across the line, which reflects badly on the government and badly on the Senate."



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