Unhinged Turnbull unleashes bizarre rant against “rich white kids from Europe”
Malcolm Turnbull has gone on a bizarre rant on ABC radio this morning claiming that “Bill Shorten thinks rich kids from Europe should pay less tax than Pacific Islanders working here to send money back to their villages.”
“They say a backpacker from Europe, a rich kid on holidays here from Germany or Norway, backpacking around, he or she should pay less tax and that Pacific Islander who comes here to pick fruit during the season and is sending that money back to his village – some of the poorest countries in the world,” he said.
“The Labor Party, for nothing other than political cynicism, wants these white kids – rich white kids from Europe – who come here on their holidays to pay less tax than some of the Pacific Islanders from some of the poorest countries in the world.”
“And [Mr Shorten] wants these kids, from Europe, to pay less tax than Australians working alongside them. I mean, seriously!
“What’s the principle there?”
Labor has attacked Mr Turnbull for claiming Australians would pay more tax than backpackers because locals can access the tax free threshold for the first $18,200 of their yearly income.
Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said Mr Turnbull’s comments on foreign workers were “unhinged” and inaccurate.
Under the tax rules for backpackers, 95 per cent of their compulsory super contributions are claimed by the Government when they leave Australia.
DEBATE RAGES OVER TAX RATE
The combination of super tax and the tax rate means the effective tax rate for backpackers under Labor’s compromise of 10.5 per cent is higher than for the Seasonal Worker Program, as these workers are not subject to the same superannuation clawback arrangements.
In addition, under Labor’s 10.5 per cent compromise, there is no income level at which someone on a working holiday visa pays less tax than an Australian worker.
While the Prime Minister is usually an expert when it comes to rich people and the tax they pay, he’s been caught lying today.
Under the Liberals, the backpacker tax:
• Went from zero per cent to 32.5 per cent in the 2015 Budget;
• Then to 19 per cent after a Malcolm Turnbull’s backbench revolted;
• Then to 15 per cent after the crossbench rolled the Government; and
• Is now back at 32.5 per cent after the Turnbull Government lost a second vote in the Senate.
Peak lobby group the National Farmers Federation said it would be a disaster for fruit growers if the 32.5 per cent tax rate kicked in from January.
There is no one else to blame but Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce for the backpacker tax debacle they find themselves in.