By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
The Australian Hotels Association has made a pre-Budget submission to the Federal Government, highlighting the fiscal concerns of the national hotel industry.
The key items that the AHA has raised are:
- The retention of neutrality in gaming, should there be an increase in GST.
- The reversal of the 2015 decision to abolish the tax-free threshold for working holiday makers, to re-encourage backpacker tourism and seasonal labour.
- The removal of the Fringe Benefits Tax on staff business meals.
- The ‘modernisation’ of the tax system to maximise tax revenue from digital economies to the same standard as ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses.
- The adherence of the same regulatory and taxation regimes to be applied to the ‘unregulated share accommodation economy’, as the rest of the accommodation industry.
- Stopping illegal offshore wagering.
- Retaining the differential rates for low, mid-strength and draught beer.
- The consideration of introducing differential excise rates for wine and spirit bulk alcohol products consumed on-premise.
AHA CEO, Stephen Ferguson expounded on how some of these points affect the hotel industry.
"In the accommodation space, the unregulated share accommodation is causing harm. Pub accommodation is beholden to state government and local councils, whereas the internet is controlled by the Commonwealth. While hotels have to comply with fire and saftey regulations, share accommodation does not, and we would like this regulated," Ferguson told TheShout.
"Illegal wagering is also a huge [issue] at the moment. We want the Government to ban credit betting from corporate bookmakers, which allows people to create even more credit card debt. We are trying to minimise the harm created by such practices.
"in regards to alcohol taxation, we are keen to keep the status quo for draught beer, but would like the Government to review excises on all alcohol consumed on-premise, due to the amount of employment created on-premise as compared to bottleshops."