Court says backpacker tax is discriminatory

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 31-Oct-19

Arnold Bloch Leibler partner Clint Harding says some backpackers could be entitled to tax refunds after a landmark court ruling on the federal government’s tax on the earnings of working holidaymakers. The Federal Court’s Justice John Logan has ruled that the backpacker tax breaches non-discrimination clause in Australia’s tax treaties with eight countries, including the UK, the US, Germany and Japan. The Australian Taxation Office may appeal the ruling.

CORPORATES
FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, ARNOLD BLOCH LEIBLER, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, TAXBACK.COM

Regions plan a thought bubble: ALP

Original article by Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 2 : 10-Oct-18

Labor has criticised the federal government’s proposal to ban some immigrants from settling in major capital cities for up to five years. Shadow workplace relations minister Brendan O’Connor has described it as a "thought bubble", arguing that the government’s priority should be to take action on the issue of temporary work visa holders. He notes that 1.6 million people are now on such visas, while 1.8 million Australians are unemployed or underemployed and looking for more work.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Business forced to train locals

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-Nov-16

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will outline plans aimed at ensuring that employers give priority to hiring and training Australian workers rather than using the 457 visa system to fill labour shortages. Data shows that more than 95,000 temporary foreign workers are currently employed on 457 visas in 20 industries. The Opposition has also signalled that it will closely scrutinise any future free trade agreements to ensure that Australian workers are not disadvantaged.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP, ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION, ONE NATION PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS

Shorten ‘a serial liar’ on super, tax

Original article by David Crowe
The Australian – Page: 1 & 8 : 10-Nov-16

Treasurer Scott Morrison is frustrated with the Australian Labor Party’s refusal to support his superannuation and tax reforms. The Government proposed a 19 per cent income tax on backpackers but Labor favours Senator Jacqui Lambie’s alternative plan for a 10.5 per cent tax. Labor also opposes allowing women to make "catch up" super contributions and the introduction of tax deductions for super contributions made by small business owners.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Morrison says lower backpacker tax is competitive

Original article by Laura Tingle
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 29-Sep-16

Treasurer Scott Morrison has rejected criticism of the tax treatment of non-resident income. Faced with opposition from tourism operators and farmers to the original proposal of a 32.5 per cent backpackers tax rate, the Government has reduced it to 19 per cent. However, at the same time it has proposed raising the passenger departure tax by $A5. Morrison said the new tax will not make Australia less attractive to backpackers than New Zealand, the UK and Canada.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Tourism slams departure tax slug

Original article by Laura Tingle
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 28-Sep-16

Treasurer Scott Morrison says reducing the proposed backpacker tax from 32.25 per cent to 19 per cent will enhance Australia’s ability to compete with other countries that are popular with people on working holidays. The Federal Government will also reduce the application fee for working holiday visas in a bid to arrest a decline in such visas in recent years. The Tourism & Transport Forum has welcomed the move to reduce the backpacker tax, but it has criticised a proposed $A5 increase in the departure tax on outbound travellers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, TTF AUSTRALIA LIMITED TOURISM AND TRANSPORT FORUM, TOURISM AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF AGRICULTURE AND WATER RESOURCES, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

SEEK invests in online sidekick for temp staff

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 37 : 4-Jul-16

Australian-listed SEEK has acquired a stake in Sidekicker, a start-up that enables businesses to hire temporary staff at short notice. The online marketplace was founded in 2012, and now offers a database of some 3,000 temporary workers. SEEK’s Michael Ilczynski stresses that the types of positions that are advertised on Sidekicker are rarely advertised on his company’s website.

CORPORATES
SEEK LIMITED – ASX SEK, SIDEKICKER, NIMBLE SOFTWARE SYSTEMS

Government revisits ‘backpacker tax’

Original article by Jamie Freed
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 17-Mar-16

Tourism and International Education Minister Richard Colbeck says the Australian Government may reconsider elements of its proposed tax on people who hold working holiday visas. The so-called ‘backpacker tax’ is slated to take effect on 1 July 2016, and will abolish the tax-free threshold for temporary workers. Colbeck has conceded that changes may be necessary to avoid a shortage of staff in sectors such as tourism and hospitality.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, TOURISM AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, TTF AUSTRALIA LIMITED TOURISM AND TRANSPORT FORUM, NORTHERN TERRITORY. DEPT OF THE CHIEF MINISTER, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

Beef up workers’ rights to halt exploitation

Original article by Mark Zirnsak, Heather Moore
The Age – Page: 18 : 11-Jan-16

There is growing evidence that Australian employers are underpaying staff in a wide range of sectors, particular people who are on temporary work visas or student visas. Temporary workers supplied by labour hire firms are also being exploited, with low wages and long working hours. The Productivity Commission has made a number of welcome recommendations to address the issue, including increased funding for the Fair Work Ombudsman and ensuring that people on temporary work visas are fully informed of their rights.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, 7-ELEVEN STORES PTY LTD, PIZZA HUT AUSTRALIA, MELBOURNE CRICKET GROUND, BAIADA POULTRY PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, JL POULTRY PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, UNITING CHURCH IN AUSTRALIA, BAPTIST CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA

Easy entry for skilled foreigners

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 7-Jan-15

The Australian Government may relax the visa requirements for skilled overseas workers who are hired on temporary contracts. The reforms would allow companies to recruit foreign workers on a "short-term mobility" visa rather than the existing 457 visa for skilled workers. Migration Solutions MD Mark Glazbrook supports the proposed reforms, but ACTU president Ged Kearney argues that hiring and training Australian workers should be the priority

CORPORATES
MIGRATION SOLUTIONS PTY LTD, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF IMMIGRATION AND BORDER PROTECTION, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED), MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED