How Christopher Back voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase the tax rate for working holiday visa holders so that they are taxed at a rate of 19% on every dollar earned up to $37,000

Division Christopher Back Supporters vote Division outcome

24th Nov 2016, 1:29 PM – Senate Income Tax Rates Amendment (Working Holiday Maker Reform) Bill 2016 and related bills - in Committee - Reduce tax rate from 19% to 10.5%

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to reduce the proposed new tax rate for working holiday visa holders earning under $37,000 from the 19% rate included in the bill to 10.5%.

Tasmanian Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie introduced this motion and explained:

How do we stop [backpackers] voting with their feet and bypassing Australia? We lower the tax rate from 19 per cent to 10.5 per cent, because 19 per cent is not internationally competitive. How do we know that it is not internationally competitive? Because the backpackers, even at nine per cent, are voting with their feet and avoiding Australia like the plague. We have an opportunity in our parliament to fix this problem right here and now. Do it once and do it right.

What do these bills do?

These bills change the income tax arrangements for working holiday visa holders. If passed, they will mean that visa holders will be taxed from the first dollar earned, rather than having the usual tax free threshold.

For visa holders earning up to $37,000, the bills propose to apply a tax rate of 19%.

Read more about the bills in the bills digest.

Motion text

(1) Schedule 1, item 6, page 5 (line 15) omit "19%", substitute "10.5%".

(2) Schedule 1, item 7, page 5 (table item 1), omit "19%", substitute "10.5%".

No No (strong) Passed by a small majority

How "voted very strongly for" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 50 50
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 50 50

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 50 / 50 = 100%.

And then