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TAX DOWNER DOWN UNDER.

Byline: ALANA FEARON

AUSTRALIAN employers fear there will be a mass exodus of Irish workers when a tax perk is axed.

The Living Away From Home allowance is set to be scrapped from July 1 which means thousands of skilled labourers could not afford to stay.

Companies fear the change will create an employment crisis, making it almost impossible for them to attract foreign workers and driving up the cost of projects. Figures released by the Australian Tax Office revealed that the bill for the perk soared from EUR127million in the 2004/2005 tax year to EUR578million in 2010/2011.

In its latest Budget, the Australian Government revealed it was halting the bonus for temporary workers.

Recruitment firm Robert Walters interviewed more than 300 people who are set to lose the tax perk.

The poll showed that 72% would find it financially difficult to stay Down Under. Almost 150 said they would consider leaving for good.

A spokesman for the Australian Mines and Metals Association revealed: "The resource industry will continue to need to source highly skilled workers from overseas to fill urgent positions on key projects.

"The changes to the allowance will be a further impediment for resource employers by further driving wage costs up in an already inflated wages environment."

The survey also found that 57% of those polled would move to a country with better tax breaks.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 5, 2012
Words:230
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