The Hidden Tax on Holidays

The government has resorted to sneaky tactics to extort taxpayers in every facet of life. Even if you’re sick of them and wish to leave, they will take one last money grab from taxpayers’ to pay for their excessive spending habits. Everybody who travels overseas from Australia pays a hidden $55 tax when they leave the country with 85% of people not knowing about this tax. A simple $200 flight from Darwin to Bali is over 25% holiday tax. This is added onto the already high airplane tickets which makes travelling overseas increasingly inaccessible for poorer people.

This tax grab is estimated to raise $1 Billion a year for the next four years to fund customs, quarantine and immigration services. But the estimated cost of all these mentioned services is only $247 Million. The tax raises 400% of the border security services for the entire nation. If the tax was entirely meant to pay for the cost of the border security, travelers would pay over $40 less per person, per trip.

wikiMilton Friedman once said “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.” The government added temporary taxes with justifications that don’t exist anymore. In the below table the government increased the tax for the Olympics games despite that being  16 years ago. In 2001, although the government was receiving more than the cost, they still increased the holiday tax for foot-and mouth disease processing costs. In 2012 the government didn’t even attempt to give a petty reason for increasing the tax on passengers.

Australia is already one of the most expensive countries for a tourist to travel to. This tax just makes the situation worse. On one hand the government is spending money trying to increase tourism in Australia and on the other hand they are pricing out potential tourists with a shameless tax. This is the classic government trick of digging a hole and filling it back in while claiming they are helping.

Written by Cody Findlay

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