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Labor 'vindictive' on backpacker tax

AAP logoAAP 30/11/2016

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has blamed Labor's "bloody-mindedness" for the Senate's rejection of his government's 15 per cent backpacker tax.

"What Labor is doing in its spite, is going to inflict a 32.5 cent in the dollar tax on backpackers when it could be 15 cents," he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

But Mr Turnbull said the government was optimistic of persuading the Senate to change its mind, after the bill's second-round failure to clear the upper house.

As Mr Turnbull spoke, Treasurer Scott Morrison confirmed he'd convinced one of the crossbenchers who voted against the 15 per cent to change his mind.

Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm will back the bill if privacy protections are in place.

That could refer to a requirement under the bill for employers of working holiday makers to register with the tax commissioner.

"Just had very productive meeting with Senator Leyonhjelm, who has agreed to 15 per cent rate on BP tax," he tweeted.

The National Farmers Federation continues to support the 15 per cent rate.

"We believe that this rate is fair, internationally competitive and recognises the unique nature of seasonal work," it said in a statement.

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