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Queensland slams tourism tax hike

By   /  September 29, 2016  /  No Comments

While the tourism sector gave lukewarm support for the Federal Government’s watered down tax on working holiday makers, Queensland Acting Treasurer and Tourism Minister Kate Jones has slammed it, calling a “blatant cash grab”.

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Increase in the Passenger Movement Charge a ‘slap in the face’ for tourism

qldIt was the $5 increase in the Passenger Movement Charge, which will see every passenger exiting the country forced to pay $60 as part of their airline ticket, that prompted the outcry from Jones.

“This is a slap in the face to the tourism industry,” she said.

Speaking from the Gold Coast, Jones said Federal Tourism Minister Steve Ciobo had been silent on the increase despite arguing against an increase to the passenger levy three years ago.

“Increasing this tax on tourism is anti-competitive, counterproductive and frankly unacceptable. The Minister knows this, so why isn’t he standing up for the tourism industry?” Jones said.

“We’ve gone from backpacker tax to a tourism tax.”

Jones said the increase the passenger levy could not have come at a worse time.

“Tourism in Queensland is booming. As a Government, we have attracted additional international flights into Queensland and been working closely with the industry to achieve double-digit growth in our tourist arrivals from overseas.

“We have seen growth from the Asian markets of China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea and Western markets of Germany, USA and New Zealand.

“The 9 per cent hike in the passenger movement charge will see every single person flying out of Australia pay $60 on top of their ticket price, that’s the second highest charge in the world after the United Kingdom.

“I will stand by Queensland’s tourism industry in their fight against this ill-conceived idea that’s gone through absolutely no consultation or review.

“The tourism industry is not Canberra’s cash cow and Steve Ciobo can’t stand by and let this happen.”

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