Clumsy tax grab shows Turnbull out of touch

THERE'S no better example of how out of touch Malcolm 'Mr Harbourside Mansion' Turnbull is with the interests of regional Australia than the Coalition's clumsy execution of the backpacker tax.

At a time when many regional farmers are struggling to find workers, what did the Coalition do?

Try to discourage the only people that were putting their hand up for the gig.

Everyone needs to pay their fair share of tax.

But surely the Coalition has much bigger fish to fry.

It could start with Google, Apple or any of the huge corporations that pay little or no tax in this country.

Instead, the government tried to continue with a tax that was first announced two budgets ago, despite the rumblings of regional MPs hearing from screaming producers.

Now, instead of killing the tax idea altogether, the government has announced a six-month delay, during which time it will have a time and tax-wasting review.

That will only fuel the uncertainty that has already seen farmers lose workers for this year - and tourism operators valuable backpackers.

Trying to tax backpackers - visitors to this country who often spend most of their money here travelling - makes absolutely no economic sense.

It's akin to trying to charge retirees more for towing their caravans around the country.

The flow-on and jobs benefits of having young people working here and then enjoying the best this country has to offer is super clear to most in regional Australia.

But in the cold corridors of Canberra, that understanding obviously didn't get through to Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison and senior members of the Cabinet.

Our farms are obviously a long way from Mr Turnbull's Point Piper digs.


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