Backpacker tax passes Senate...but there's a hitch

THE backpacker tax has passed the Senate without the support of the Coalition Government. 

Senator Jacqui Lambie's amended version of the controversial tax passed through the Senate today in a tight 30-37 vote with the Turnbull Government failing to block its passage. 

News Corp reports Lambie's new tax will come in at a rate of 10.5% - a big step down from the 19 per cent rate PM Malcolm Turnbull said he would be insisting on. 

"This is a plain act of economic vandalism by the Labor Party," Mr Turnbull told AAP after ALP supported Lambie's changes.  

"A plain act of undermining Australian businesses, Australian horticultural businesses, Australian tourism businesses."

The ABC reports the Coalition as saying this morning that the tax would be brought in at a rate of 32.5%, if its 19% proposal did not pass the Senate. 

Parliament will only sit for one more week this year and Lambie's new 10.5% backpacker tax will be sent back down to the House of Representatives, where the Coalition has the numbers. 

The tax can not be made law unless both the Senate and the House of Representatives agree on it. 


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