GST rebates: Radical proposal to help save tourism
Rebates on GST for tourists and other domestic tourism tax incentives have been raised as possible supports for the embattled sector when JobKeeper ends, as the deadline which could see unemployment queues grow looms.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison assured anxious backbench MPs that the issue was getting "enormous attention", while it is understood a post-JobKeeper package is being developed.
"The problems are clear, but the solutions are complex," Mr Morrison told his colleagues.
Several MPs raised potential solutions to be considered at the meeting, including the GST rebate, incentives, continuing a tourism specific JobKeeper as well as urging states to consider more payroll tax reductions.
Tourism Minister Dan Tehan has made it clear he wants the JobKeeper replacement to be easily and quickly rolled out and rolled back when it is no longer needed.
Details on the proposals were not discussed, but foreign tourists can apply for a GST refund on leaving the country if they have a tax invoice from a company with an ABN and it was passed within the past 60 days.
Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said additional support would be needed as frequent state border lockdowns, on top of international travel bans, had devastated many tourism businesses.
"We're working through a package now," he said.
But he said ideas like the GST rebate may not be practical, given paperwork required for participants and issues with the states.
"As soon as you fiddle around with GST, you have to get the permission of the premiers," he said.
Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said he had consulted with the tourism sector and the government would go through its usual processes to develop a support plan for the industry.
He has previously indicated the details will likely be known by early March, prior to the end of JobKeeper.
Labor Senator Nita Green said jobs were already being lost now, while policies were debated.
"The Minister should announce what package of support will be available for tourism operators impacted by international border closures without any further delay," he said.
"When it's announced Labor can consider it, and work constructively with the Government, to try to save to jobs and businesses."
Originally published as GST rebates: Radical proposal to help save tourism