Safe for now Labor denies passenger tax hike

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A Labor has denied Coalition claims that it plans to increase the Passenger Movement Charge, despite agreeing “in principle” to a recommendation which would see the tourism sector fund its biosecurity plans.The Coalition yesterday alleged Labor would hit Australia’s tourism sector with an increase in passenger taxes, pointing to a Government announcement in 2008 when they agreed in principle to all recommendations of an independent report on Australia’s biosecurity measures.Recommendation 73 of the Beale Review advocated “an adjustment to the Passenger Movement Charge” to fund a “significant” part of a AUD260 million per annum investment on biosecurity.Minister for Agriculture Tony Burke yesterday denied any moves by Labor to increase the Passenger Movement Charge, saying the Government “has no plan to introduce such a policy”.“A Gillard Labor Government will deliver tax relief to help make our tourism sector even more globally competitive,” Mr Burke said.Shadow Minister for Tourism, Steven Ciobo demanded Labor reveal its funding plans. “Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson must come clean and reveal exactly to the tourism sector how much money his government is planning to once again rip out of the industry to pay for this measure,” Mr Ciobo said. “The tourism industry will have paid around $1.2 billion in extra taxes (over the forward estimates) since the Rudd/Gillard Government whacked [the Passenger Movement Charge] in 2008,” he added.The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) managing director Matt Hingerty said the still struggling tourism industry would not broke an increase in passenger tax, regardless of which party wins Saturday’s Federal election.last_img

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