Leave well enough alone

THE tax threshold on backpackers� income at $20,000 makes sense because farming is a cash business.

However, if we want to tax backpackers, how should that work?

The farmers could deduct tax and pay it to the tax office but I cannot see how that can work. Alternatively, the backpackers could receive a paper from the farmer showing the income and the backpacker pays tax just prior to leaving.

Again, though, how could that work because backpackers do not have a bank account?

How could they carry the tax due in cash when maybe it is thousands of dollars?

Perhaps at the airport the immigration officer could check whether sufficient tax had been paid.

If not, the backpacker would have to stay; air ticket gone, no money for accommodation and food.

Will we then build camps outside of the airports to house them? This would go viral in seconds.

Consequently, backpackers would stop coming and then who would harvest the grapes to make our wine?

Well, no problem, we can always import wine, so making wineries in other countries happy.

The other consideration is that if the backpackers have not enough money after paying tax they will request a pay rise, which will result in increased prices for us all to pay.

Thanks, but better not.

I suggest (strongly) that we leave things as they are. They just make sense.

RAINER REPKE, Kallaroo.