LAFHA losers threaten to quit country

A survey of overseas professionals affected by the abrupt axing of the Living Away From Home Allowance tax benefit suggests that more than half of them are considering leaving the country.

The survey of 300 people included 20 marketers, seven people working in communications and media, and eight in advertising. It was carried out by recruitment agency Robert Walters.

The perk allows people to claim the cost of rent against tax, effectively giving them a bigger spending power when choosing where to live, and at the same time reducing the amount of super that employers pay.

However, the government pointed to widespread rorting of the system and axed the LAFHA. For those living in Australia and claiming the allowance based on living in other cities, it gave a two year transition period. But for those from overseas, it said the perk would be axed from July 1.

The issue particularly affects the communications industry because of the disproportionately large number of people it employs from overseas.

The survey found:

  • 72% of professionals receiving LAFHA believe that losing the entitlement will make it much harder for them to live in Australia, with 57% of these professionals will consider moving abroad to a country with better tax breaks once LAFHA is abolished.
  • To negate the reduction of income, 75% will be seeking higher pay from their current employer.
  • 76% said they are likely or very likely to enter the job market and look for a better paying role.
lafha good bad

lafha surveyHowever, 75% of the survey respondents would still recommend Australia as a great place to live and work.

  • Declaration of interest: Some staff of Mumbrella’s parent company Focal Attractions are among those affected by the ending of LAFHA

Comments


  1. Sam G
    1 Jun 12
    4:50 pm

  2. LAFHA = Bondi Rental Subsidy

  3. A Pom
    1 Jun 12
    5:03 pm

  4. Here we go again…

  5. Disrupterer
    1 Jun 12
    5:03 pm

  6. Welcome to the recession, no need to attract foreign staff.

    Of course, you should all write to the UK Home Office and ask them to reciprocate.

    Reciprocation is part of any good relationship.

  7. Matt
    1 Jun 12
    5:14 pm

  8. In other news – recruitment agencies now are fully accredited research shops, with no bias whatsoever

  9. Tom
    1 Jun 12
    5:25 pm

  10. There’s little correlation between what people say in surveys and what they actually do.
    Methinks Aussie adland will be just as Pommy post-LAFHA. (They might just whinge a bit more than usual.) ;)

  11. Ricki
    1 Jun 12
    5:28 pm

  12. Q: Will losing significant tax benefits impact on how your feel about staying in this country in your current role?
    A: Bleeding obvious

    Q: As someone on LAFHA, do you think you should lose LAFHA?
    A: Seriously, is this survey just for shits and giggles?

    Q: Does anyone seriously think employers will pump up their 457 employees salary when they are not legally required to, and have them sitting next to local employees who know they are on a 20%+ lesser wage, without understanding the terrible ramifications of that in terms of company culture and productivity?
    A: *sighs*

    Q: Is this whole situation an un-winnable shambles?
    A: Der!

  13. Bob
    1 Jun 12
    7:34 pm

  14. All I can say to those thinking of leaving is

    BYE!!!

  15. ByeByeAussie
    1 Jun 12
    10:24 pm

  16. Thanks Bob. I had a great time here. And your welcome for the 50% of my super I will leave here. I left it back for you as a gratitude token (thanks for showing us the sun, the beaches etc). I will now go back to my deprived home country with no light, running water, economical prospect (Germany) along with my pathetic useless skills (PhD in Engineering).

    Ok, let’s discard this idiotic, childish discussion along with the Aussie-Pommie bashing (get a grip, most of you Aussies are of English/Irish/Scottish heritage).
    Doesn’t anyone get the point here? The new transitional rules are racist and the justification Wayne Swan made (457′s = overpaid executive) is completely ridiculous because

    a) if this statement were true (which is not), Australians are too stupid to form their own executives (are you still submissive to the British Imperialism or wtf???)

    b) the statement is false the government is a discriminating, lying regime? Get people in with promising some candies and then immediately take the candies away? Do you think we are idiots?

    @ Tom: Fortunately you are right, there is no correlation between forum posts and the real opinion, but unfortunately you as well failed to see the big picture (and this might be an intentional nationalistic attitude (silly in an allegedly enlighten society). All the Australians I have met so far (and I know a lot) have been more understanding and differentiating than you).

  17. Tony
    1 Jun 12
    10:36 pm

  18. I’m more than happy for them to spit the dummy. And those who whinge will say we CAN’T do this whilst whilst claiming they CAN stay. It all seems to reek of the fact that all they have to offer us is replicas of former campaigns rolled out in the UK.

    At the end of the day it is only about the numbers they want for free and I’m quite happy to oblige and offer them three numbers for free they will find to be very useful:

    1. International Relocations: (02) 9929 3244

    2. Taxis Combined for their trip to the airport: 133 300

    and

    3. British Airways Reservations: 1300 767 177

    Bon Voyage!

  19. Sam
    1 Jun 12
    11:03 pm

  20. Where exactly will 50+% of those LAFHA recipients go? Back to London? yeah.. good luck with that. I hear there’s hundreds of high paying jobs around

  21. Robyn F
    1 Jun 12
    11:32 pm

  22. No need to leave! Existing arrangement are going to be grandfathered as the Treasury has received hundreds of submissions to the latest consultation, nearly all of which point out the illegality of the discrimination against foreigners! This is going to be reflected in the amended legislation to be presented to parliament (but there will be no official statement on it, as such. Fantastic news!

  23. Skill shortages...
    2 Jun 12
    6:45 am

  24. The release today of Australia’s 2012 world competitiveness ranking of 15, a drop of 10 places in two years, should provide a warning that we cannot rely on the mining boom to insulate Australia from the global slowdown and further verifies the increasing concerns being raised by industry.

    The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) is the Australian partner for the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook that ranks 59 countries on their ability to manage their economic and human resources to increase their prosperity.

    This year, Australia has been overtaken by Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, Malaysia and Luxembourg. Big drops in our labour market and international trade competitiveness rankings are the key contributors to our slide down the rankings.

    Significant reasons contributing to Australia’s poor ranking for labour market competitiveness included the high Australian dollar, skills shortages and the re-emergence of industrial relations as a key national issue, highlighting the increase in the number of high profile disputes in the Australian economy.

  25. Backward Pollys
    2 Jun 12
    11:02 am

  26. @Robyn F. Great news if true.. where did you hear this?

  27. Jason
    2 Jun 12
    4:15 pm

  28. As long as you are a “permanent resident”, you’ll be fine (ie if you’re here for a few months only, you’re not)

    http://lafha.com.au/Employees.aspx

  29. Robyn F
    2 Jun 12
    10:04 pm

  30. No, for 457 visa holders. Transitional arrangements are being changed right now because all the expert submissions said the discrimination was inconsistent with existing tax laws. Treasury was hoping no-one would realise. This is 100% confirmed. No need to leave!

  31. Dave
    2 Jun 12
    10:15 pm

  32. My Net- income just dropped 25% because of no LAFHA anymore. There is only one more thing to do…..leaving Down Under!

  33. Cate
    3 Jun 12
    7:31 am

  34. Robyn F, where did you hear this? Have you got a link or a person’s name? I know that the proposals are illegal, but we’ve been making exit plans as we’ve been told that there would be no extra money and we can’t (and won’t) live here on less that we got in the UK. We always planned to go home but if we could have six months to organise it that would be a lot less stressful than 5 weeks.

  35. Backward Pollys
    3 Jun 12
    11:22 am

  36. @Robyn F .. all sounds encouraging.. confirmed by who? I can’t see anything official anywhere

  37. Australian
    3 Jun 12
    3:40 pm

  38. “The new transitional rules are racist…”

    Non-nationals are not a “race,” any more than nationals are, excepting the original Australians.

    “…the illegality of the discrimination against foreigners!”

    If you don’t like it, apply for citizenship and if granted, you will have a host of rights, including the right to vote.

    You will find most nationals have no problem with discrimination against foreigners. Indeed, many would be upset if foreigners were not discriminated against in areas such as taxation, health, education and many others. Your sense of self-worth does not automatically translate to your worth to the nation of Australia.

    You need look no further than the refugee debate to understand how passionate Australians are about discriminating against foreigners. These passions can apply equally to “plane people.”

    “Existing arrangement are going to be grandfathered…”

    No, they aren’t. Wishing something to be true does not make it real. Bizarre.

  39. The Internetz
    3 Jun 12
    7:14 pm

  40. Honestly, this online trolling and bitching about the LAHFA situation here is getting a little tired. I’m a bit over it.

    If mUmBRELLA wants to make a big impact on this, why doesn’t the team take the evidence of this heated discussion online to broadcast media and amplify the debate and discussion? Feels a bit like an echo chamber in here otherwise.

    I’m Aussie and am not fussed what happens either way – I’ve worked with terrible imported workers (from both the US and UK), plus amazing colleagues that (UK, France, US) that i’d happily welcome the opportunity to work with again. I don’t think that these international markets bring us talent that cannot be found in Australia by any means. I welcome the best person for the job – wherever they come from. If you like Australia, the new LAFHA/tax system is part of the package, so take it or leave it.

    If this issue matters so much to the marketing industry and beyond, move ahead and set the media agenda on the issue – Beyond the pages of mUmBRELLA.

  41. Cate
    3 Jun 12
    8:20 pm

  42. “Australian” would you not say that respecting international treaties is the mark of a respectable and worthy country? Think of those who generally ignore the international community and those that spring to mind include North Korea and Iran – not fantastic company with which to be identified.

    I don’t want to be a citizen of your country. If I had felt that to be necessary I would have applied for PR, but as the wife of someone who came over on a global transfer (it was Brisbane or Berlin – the Brisbane office asked for him) and has since worked 14 hours a day every week day since we arrived, I think that this move by the Australian govt is short sighted, and yes, discriminatory.

    I’m quite happy to return to Europe. Australia is a lovely country but it is not my home and never will be. However, rearranging our lives (children and dogs) in 6 weeks is not pleasant, especially when we were supposed to be here until the end of the school year.

    Still, my husband only sorts out disastrous projects for the big mining companies. He’s not important to the future of Australia, is he?

  43. Robyn F
    3 Jun 12
    8:25 pm

  44. Hi Australian. I don’t receive LAFHA so I don’t mind, but my OH works at the treasury in this dept. It’ll be in what’s presented to Parl. but won’t be announced beforehand. I’m pleased for people who can stay but other than that I’m not affected.

  45. A Pom
    3 Jun 12
    10:53 pm

  46. Officially ad execs do the 2nd least amount for society. 2nd to investment bankers. (We all know what rhyming slang is for investment banker, right?)

    Why is it a priority for a government to keep ad exec’s in this country? Although I cant see the standard of work tanking, it would be great to see less fast food advertising, soda drink advertising etc

    Here is a quote from Cate, comment 17:
    “we’ve been making exit plans as we’ve been told that there would be no extra money and we can’t (and won’t) live here on less that we got in the UK.”

    Well Cate. If you will not live here on less income than you got in the UK, then cheerio, have a safe flight and have fun back in Blighty.

    Ceasing LAFHA (regarding the ad industry) will get rid of the “me, me, me’s” (Cate’s) and the battlers will stay. The battlers are the lot we want in Oz, who work hard, put it in and make the most of it. They are the people Aussies invite around for bbq’s…

    (My rant is directed at ad exec’s claiming LAFHA.) For needed skilled workers, such as nurses, teachers, engineers etc I have a different opinion…)

  47. Yup
    4 Jun 12
    6:40 am

  48. Don’t feel sorry for me, A Pom.

    But at the same time, please recognize there is a knock on effect for the economy when something like this is suddenly pulled.

    I suddenly find myself needing to save $300 a week. So i’ve cancelled my personal trainer at the gym (saving 2 x $70) and the cleaner ($75). Not the end of the world for me, but in both cases there are two self employed Australians who have suddenly lost a steady customer.

  49. Tom
    4 Jun 12
    7:30 am

  50. I can completely understand the need to import some skills but having recently worked in a senior role at an agency where the lame brain running it recruited and sponsored a relatively junior and talentless Account Manager with a tiny amount of previous experience in the UK, showed me first hand the ridiculous abuse that the system caters for. To those who are similarly overpaid and overrated who leave I just have one thing to say … don’t let the door hit you on the arse on the way out

  51. Paddington guy
    4 Jun 12
    9:48 am

  52. Personally, @Yup, I would prefer that your tax went to pay our nurses and teachers and prevent further reductions in defence, instead of personal trainers and cleaners for your privileged self.

    Pay your tax, old chap.

  53. DN
    4 Jun 12
    9:51 am

  54. Hi Paddington Guy,

    And then can non citizens have access to those nurses you admit we’re paying that extra tax for? And once our extra tax is paying for those teachers, can we send our kids to those schools wihtout having to pay again?

    No? Thought not.

  55. Discrimination?
    4 Jun 12
    9:51 am

  56. Why don’t we all get subsidies?

    I’ve lived over 500km from home to get work in my chosen field for the last 13 years. Do I get LAFHA? No. Why?

    I’m Aussie.

    It’s bullshit, the only people wanting to keep LAFHA are the ones that are on it. The other way to attract talent from overseas is to pay more money than their markets do – something Australia currently does in all junior-senior positions in advertising vs the US and the UK. The only ones that don’t pay higher are extremely high level management jobs.

  57. Kim
    4 Jun 12
    11:22 am

  58. Finally they will have to pay the same rent that we pay! I have had a lot of friends on LAFA and they used it as an excuse to rent seriously pimping pads. Too bad they have to come down to reality like the rest of the aussies.

  59. ARGH
    4 Jun 12
    11:31 am

  60. I’m sorry, but when I worked in the UK – I am pretty sure I got not tax breaks & was finding it hard to live in a nice place on the shitty wage they pay people working in Media.
    Now here, all my UK buddies live in penthouse apartments with views & splash their extra cash around, while again, I have to pay full tax to support their lifestyle in the sun. YAY to me – NOT.

  61. loaf
    4 Jun 12
    11:36 am

  62. I arrived from the UK in January. I took less money than I could have earned on the proviso that the LAFHA would allow me to boost this and cost my employer less in wages. I am now going to have to ask for a salary increase to be able to afford to stay (and no I don’t live in Bondi). I am planning on staying and am classed as a ‘permanent resident’. I pay taxes and I have as much right to a say as anyone else does. We should move this conversation away from the xenophobia that is so prevalent in this country and onto what is the real issue – the impact on business.

    The reality is that many industries in Australia are behind their European counterparts (although others do lead the way) and foreign workers can really boost those industries. This cut will have a significant impact on small to medium businesses that will no longer be able to afford to attract the talent that would really help them to boost their business. Whether the LAFHA allowance is justified or not, that fact is it has been used as an incentive for many small businesses and they are now going to lose out to huge global corporations that have absolutely no loyalty to Australia and would happily abandon ship if the economy starts to slow. I don’t see how that is good for Australia.

  63. Ad Exec
    4 Jun 12
    11:43 am

  64. As much as I don’t want to see LAFHA disappear, to those complaining they’ll leave, you probably don’t really want to be here in the first place.

    Yes, I am from overseas as well. I moved over a year ago on a salary that would be seen as a step back (especially with the cost of living) but with LAFHA it made sense and that how the agencies sold it to me, so go figure I’m now mad and looking for compensation from them. However, I’ve been here a year and I’ve still not seen a dime of LAFHA due to visa issues. Have I been a been able to live this past year without LAFHA though? Yes – even though I’ll admit this country has caused me to accumulate debt for the first time in my life.

    Yes, it’s shit that I’ve been paying such high taxes and not been able to see any of the same benefits as an Aussie. Yes, it sucks that 50% of my Super I will have to leave behind while I’m also being hit hard by my own country on my retirement funds as I don’t currently live there and contribute. This was my choice to move here though and the experience I’ve gained, I value to be worth the financial hit.

    For a lot of us, we chose to move here, it wasn’t a work relocation we were forced to take. If the experience without LAFHA isn’t worth it, leave. If you moved here looking to relocated permanently but have been claiming LAFHA, man up and contribute to the country which you want to call home, apply for residency and stop complaining.

  65. A Pom
    4 Jun 12
    12:40 pm

  66. @ Ad Exec @ Tom

    Very well said. Like you both, I moved here too and I want to be here for the long term.

    It is the overrated LAFHA abusers living in pimping pads who have ruined this for everyone, or is it the employers who hired them? or is it the government institutions?

    Some companies do pay for their employees health care and gym memberships etc This could be a good opportunity for great firms to back up their support for their employees with packages, which include health and fitness related perks..? I do feel for families who were banking on LAFHA, however if they really want to stay in Oz, they will.

    Take Cate above and her attitude versus an immigrant who nearly dies getting here on a leaky boat. Places people into perspective really doesn’t it…

  67. Sir Jobe
    4 Jun 12
    1:21 pm

  68. I don’t appreciate all the Australian bashing in this thread. Calling Aussies xenophobic and racially discriminatory isn’t the way to curry favour with them.

    Our government, like all governments, makes many decisions that do not sit well with many people, but I/we refuse to apologise for that.

    You come to Australia for the lifestyle, admit it. Anyone coming here to further their career is having a laugh. Our market and budgets aren’t big enough to afford anyone the opportunity to do bigger and better things. (In ad land that is)

    You come to Australia, land good jobs because of your experience in other, larger markets, and come to Australia to work hard and also enjoy the awesome lifestyle our great country offers you. Not only that, but we offer you tax breaks to encourage you to do it.

    There are steps you can take to try to now make up for the loss incurred at the scrapping of the allowance. Ask your employer to cover off health issues such as gym memberships. Travel costs such as petrol allowances, car allowances and trasport support. Show them the great work you have done, plead your case and ask for a pay rise. There are options available to you. There is no need to whinge like a child who just lost his favourite toy then blame the boogey man for taking it away while you run home talking about how all Australian’s are a bunch of racist lunatics.

    Harden up.

  69. The Internetz
    4 Jun 12
    1:56 pm

  70. Sir Jobe, you’re my hero.

  71. Cate
    4 Jun 12
    2:37 pm

  72. Did you read the submissions to the treasury?

    Has anyone you know said that Lafha should continue forever?

    Did I say that it was completely right and there was no reason why the legislation should be amended?

    No. Change your tax laws in the ways your legislature see fit, but don’t pretend that it will significantly increase the GDP of Australia or alter significantly the Australian way of life for the better.

    I think Lafha is outdated, I think it should be stopped. However, I don’t think it should be applied to people who have commitments to contracts where there is a financial penalty involved in leaving. *The way* the government is implementing this change is wrong and *that* is the problem.

  73. GG
    4 Jun 12
    4:50 pm

  74. @ Robyn F When the final submission to the parliament?

    I’m losing the LAFHA, and my work are looking to make up some of the difference which is pretty fair.

    I personally think it is a stupid tax break. But I also think there should be a more standard reduction in taxes as people dont get the same benefits. These tax breaks should only be available for a shorter period of time forcing people to either become PR or leave.

    AU government.. not the brightest.

    I think as well, 5 weeks notice (and dont say it was 6 months, as this was only finally confirmed a few weeks ago) is ridiculous. The markets will shift. Ultimately employees will have to pay more to attract quality overseas workers. Also house rentals should drop as well in desirable areas, which can only be a good thing. Its the people who have to suck up the transitional phase who will suffer.

  75. Purp
    4 Jun 12
    5:12 pm

  76. Oh Shame – suck it up baby! My husband was brought over here on a 457, and did NOT get LAFHA despite us maintaining a home in London. Despite this, we managed (shock, horror!!) to survive, we just couldnt live in that 4 bedroom house in Mosman that we wanted. We gained PR, but he then lost his job and his salary. He got a new one but not as well paid – tough. We had to adjust and get on with it – with only 2 weeks notice. Let’s face it – you WERE all warned in NOVEMBER last year it was happening! For those complaining about lack of benefits and having to pay school fees – get off the LAFHA bandwagon and become PR (sure you qualify now, after all these years) – BUT OH NO! You most probably earn too much to be entitled to anything, so why bother – let the Aussies fund your lifestyle instead through LAFHA! The $4,500 school fees that you have to pay is only a third of what the actual cost is for the government to educate your child – consider yourself lucky you don’t have to pay it all. From reading all the threats to vacate Oz (bon-voyage), why should we subsidise the education of a kid that isnt going to be here in the future?

  77. Purp
    4 Jun 12
    5:14 pm

  78. Oh and by the way, I am not Australian nor British……

  79. jean cave
    4 Jun 12
    6:03 pm

  80. Australia has very strict quotas/rules on permanent residency, and continually revises them. I doubt whether everyone now working there on a temporary visa would get it. Some commenters are talking as if it is an automatic foregone.

  81. Another Pom
    4 Jun 12
    6:28 pm

  82. @ Ad Exec

    In total agreement with you.

    I accepted a job here from the UK, and came here for that role after a long time of trying to move to Australia. I had no idea what LAFHA even was, I was just happy to finally be here, to a job I really enjoy, and finally get to live in the country that I love. I count myself very lucky indeed to be living here.

    When the LAFHA conversation started when I arrived, of course it was great to have, and actually was unexpected but in these times it doesn’t surprise me that it’s being taken away and I am definitely not going to be throwing my toys out of the pram when it ends. Ok, there will be an adjustment but there’s nothing wrong with a tin of baked beans and sipping on glass of Blue Nun. As with every country across the globe in these economical times, things have to give and take, and it seems there are no exceptions, it’s reality.

    The opportunity to excel in your career is here for the taking if you want it, that’s what I’ve found anyhow. If you’re good at your job, a job that you were sponsored to do, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t succeed in financial terms as well as career. I think that’s a really fortunate position to be in.

    I won’t be looking for a payrise because of a government decision, it’s not my employers fault. Sorry to those who might find this all rainbows and unicorns and out of touch with those who may have expensive apartments, but coming from the UK where things really are f**#*! then I see the additional dollars I’ve had as fortunate to have had them in the first place.

  83. bingobob
    4 Jun 12
    8:12 pm

  84. Got to laugh at the sanctimonius 457 Visa holders

    “ooh look at us we came and didn’t know about LAFHA and managed to survive, aren’t we great”

    NO you’re not, you moved around the world and couldn’t even work out how to get what you were owed, you weren’t clever you were stupid.

    To Purp – the reason you subsidise them is because without temporary foreign residennts, Australia is in recession NOW. Without them new railways aren’t built, new gas plants aren’t opened etc etc. There aren’t enough skilled people in Australia to do the work, accept it. What is currently happening is that Australia is doing seemingly it’s best to drive investment away, it’s already happening in the gas industry, Australia is too regulated, unionised and anti business, money due to be spent here is now heading to the shale gas industry in USA.

    Australia is about to blow a once in a century chance to make money.

  85. A Pom
    4 Jun 12
    10:09 pm

  86. @bingobob We are discussing ad execs bingobob. Ad execs do not build railways… Ad exec’s help to promote things like obesity, as an example.

    I am sure that if there are true impacts as a result of the removal of LAFHA, such as railways lines ceasing to be constructed, then legislation will be passed to accommodate workers in that area. Quite simply Australia does not NEED to offer LAFHA to ad exec’s…

    Anyhow, lets see what happens and I look forward to the analysis post removal. Eye’s down for a full house oh Robert of the Bingo.

  87. GG
    4 Jun 12
    10:09 pm

  88. @ purp

    If you read my post, I said they should shorten the amount of time a person can stay on the Lafha.

    I can’t apt for PR until October, so a tough few months ahead. Might stick it out, but def looking for new opportunities in AU and overseas.

    As mentioned. The decision could really stuff up the economy here!

  89. A Pom
    4 Jun 12
    10:11 pm

  90. @ Yup. That’s not an issue. Cleaners, if affected can head out to the mines and earn a fortune. Personal trainers, might well do the same…

    Needs and wants.

  91. Aretic disposition
    4 Jun 12
    11:29 pm

  92. Reading this blog is like watching kids fight over a toy.

    There are much bigger things taking form out there than a dodgy tax break as will soon become apparent.

    The big mining companies know what is coming, investment is being rapidly pulled where possible as we speak. Takes a while to filter through.

    Bickering over tax will be put in its proper context soon enough.

    For what it is worth, highly likely limited grandfather rights will be extended, most politicians are lawyers by background so they tend to listen to legal advice out of habit.

    If it makes anyone feel any better, daft tax breaks are likely to be the least of most peoples worries fairly soon.

    Enjoy whatever you have now, it is likely there will be less for everyone going forward.

    “dont covert your neighbours ass”………..or ox etc.

    Sound advice from the big cheese in the sky no matter which side of the lahfa fence you are on.

  93. Ad Exec
    6 Jun 12
    3:38 pm

  94. @bingobob

    “ooh look at us we came and didn’t know about LAFHA and managed to survive, aren’t we great” NO you’re not, you moved around the world and couldn’t even work out how to get what you were owed, you weren’t clever you were stupid.”

    Actually I fully knew about LAFHA and came here intending to get it. There were a few bumps in the road along the way unfortunately and I’ve only just been able to submit my forms to claim it recently and it’s now been taken away. Therefore I’ve never benefited.

    Thanks for jumping to the conclusion I was stupid, you jackass. What I was saying is that although LAFHA is nice, there’s no reason to threaten to leave the country, you can still easily survive day to day in this very overpriced country on the wages the agencies are paying us without the help of LAFHA.

  95. Helen
    8 Jun 12
    12:10 am

  96. Well we can’t ad Exec. I can send you our budget plan if you like. We’re off, though I won’t expect much sympathy from the comments I’ve seen on here. For what it’s worth, I think it should be abolished – the rates were excessive and it created unfairness. But something needs to be put in place to ensure that skilled workers are attracted to Australia. What should not have happened was that it was done in such an unbelievably unfair way, with no time for people to plan their finances and with Australian residents being treated more favourably than others. I’ll get numerous comments no doubt but I can assure you that the decision we made to come here has been the worst we ever made and has cost us thousands – but much more importantly it’s split our family, with our very young children now forced to live half a world away from their dad. Cheers Australia, I will certainly be recommending your fair society to everyone when I get home.

  97. ByeByeAussie
    8 Jun 12
    6:36 pm

  98. Sorry to hear that Helen and all the best. I can feel for you. I just got confirmation from my employer (negative result of course), but “luckily” I don’t have a family, so I can manage to stay here for a bit longer.

    And don’t worry about the negative comments. Most of them have been bluntly primitive (and given the language people have used they do no stem from intellectual minds who have the capacity to differentiate).

  99. Helen
    8 Jun 12
    10:53 pm

  100. Good to hear you can stay. I think it will be families with very young children who will be forced out – just the sort of people who need the least amount of disruption. I’m really looking forward to uprooting my 6 year old for the second time in a year.

  101. James h
    9 Jun 12
    5:05 pm

  102. Just so everyone is aware, there is a type of non permanent resident who is eligible for transition arrangements without having to maintain a home in Australia.

    Those who are on a temporary visa, currently receiving lafha, whose spouse is an Australian resident (under the social security act 1991) are not considered to be temporary residents under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. Therefore if these are your circumstances you are entitled to the transition period and should continue receiving LAFHA.

  103. backward pollys
    10 Jun 12
    2:29 pm

  104. I guess that makes being a permanent resident for taxation purposes (457) even more frustrating. I guess that just means Income Tax

  105. James h
    10 Jun 12
    9:47 pm

  106. The LAFHA changes exposure draft refers to the definition of temporary resident as per the ITAA 1997. If you don’t meet this definition of temporary resident you are entitled to the transition period.

    Read section 995.1 of the act if you want to confirm if you meet the definition of ‘temporary resident’.

  107. Dave
    11 Jun 12
    8:45 pm

  108. Go home if you don’t like it here in Aus. You were lucky to get that tax break. Be thankful you are living in Gods Country. This place is paradise. You don’t deserve it.

  109. ByeByeAussie
    12 Jun 12
    8:51 am

  110. Thanks for reminding us Dave. I had completely forgotten the mentioning Australia in the bible (and god said thou shall be grateful to be in my country).

    Give us a break will you? You don’t get to decide which is god’s country and who deserves to live in there. God has given you a tool called brain. Use it properly and post some sensible arguments on why the promised (by your own government) tax breaks should go for non nationals and not Australians. As you have possibly seen, this is affecting us strongly (even to an extent that families have to be separated).So please don’t mock us with such ridiculous statements and have some form of respect

  111. Alster
    12 Jun 12
    12:37 pm

  112. ”post some sensible arguments on why the promised (by your own government) tax breaks should go for non nationals and not Australians”
    You may just find the answer in what you have written….because you are not Australian – they are rightly just looking after their own. I have a number of friends who have been here for 5 years and beyond claiming LAFHA. They have no intention of going home – but don’t want to apply for PR as they lose LAFHA and earn too much to claim any benefits so they see no point. Now tell me why, why should we Australians fund their lifestyles? One particular lot are paying close to $1500 a week in rent on the upper North Shore. Not because he is mega wealthy, but because us Aussies are kindly subsidising his rent and food!! I am sorry, but LAFHA has been abused and taken advantage of for way too long, sure it sucks for those that are losing it, but that is just the way it goes unfortunately. The whole point of the allowance is that it is meant for those that are MAINTAINING a home away from home – how many of you are legitimately doing that? I think we need to move away from expecting things from the government, I have been on a number of emigration forums whereby alot of people before anything else, want to know what benefits they will be entitled to when they arive! Not ever worked in Australia, never paid taxes or contributed to society but already have the hands out for ‘handouts – AMAZING!

  113. ByeByeAussie
    12 Jun 12
    8:08 pm

  114. Alster, whilst some of your points maybe right, you are failing to acknowledge, that wealthy expats abusing the system is not the general case (just because you have a couple of friends). Unfortunately this is the sort of attitude the government has (and a government should have the responsibility to analyse the facts properly before stigmatising a certain group). A lot of my colleagues (I work at a university) are on LAFHA and live like me in tiny studio flats nowhere close to the beach. So please don’t bring up this argument that you are funding our glamourous life style and base it on facts (and statistics suggest, that you need more than a couple of friends to get a representative value)

    Having said that, there is no question that LAFHA need an overhaul. But this is not the point here! Sorry to return to the point which has been already discussed a million times, it is the transitional rule which is causing a dismay. It does not give us enough time to react. I know that the discussion has been on, but we have received sparse updates from our employers (I guess due to the chaos in the treasury), which left us in a sort of limbo state.

    And what is wrong in enquiring about the exact amount of money to expect? Isn’t that what we call an informed decision? Many of us are in the mid stages in life, where we don’t just relocate for the fun and experience (or the sun and the beach) My estimate provided by my employer included LAFHA and that is what I believe and that is how I decided to come here. Why else would I cross half the planet? To get less money than before? Would you just go somewhere else without exactly knowing what to expect in terms of salary? Most of us are not 20 anymore and did not move for the adventure thrill and thus have to make informed decision. I fail to notice why this should be greed. LAFHA was part of the financial framework provided by our employers and you cannot expect us make an ethical judgement on that before coming here (And I assume a university has some sort of ethical values).

    Please try to differentiate a bit more. Several people here have explained their severe situations. You can’t just lure in people with promises and after making all the effort of relocating suddenly tell them “oops sorry, we’ll have to cut your salary by 15% but you should still be grateful to live in this country”.

  115. A Pom
    13 Jun 12
    5:29 am

  116. @ ByeByeAussie

    1) This forum concerns Ad Execs claiming LAFHA. We will not go bust in Oz if a few Ad Execs leave because they do not get a tax break.

    2) Re “ByeByeAussie” Haven’t you gone home yet?

    Cheerio :)

  117. ByeByeAussie
    13 Jun 12
    10:44 pm

  118. @A pom

    1) agreed. I am not one of them. Still believe you can’t get people over with promises and then breach them. And thought i could bring in a perspective of non- ad execs, but apparently this seems offensive….

    2) No, still have to wait to avoid legal penalties (have to stay for at least one year to avoid paying back the relocation costs and my flat contract still runs for 3 months – something I can’t afford to breach) And I am smart enough to understand sarcasm…

  119. Dave
    14 Jun 12
    8:39 pm

  120. I 100% agree with ByeByeAussi! Its not easy to just leave Oz within 3 month due to lots of rental contracts and and and.

  121. Dave
    14 Jun 12
    9:38 pm

  122. Bye bye Aussie – I,like Alastair have Pommy mates on the lower and upper north shore also paying around $1500 week rent plus a huge claim on food and flights back to the UK to visit family and friends at the local Aussies expense. What a rort!

    You have had warning fit almost 1 year now that this was coming but you seem to ignore this.

    So for everyones sake please stop whinging and catch the next BA flight home and leave us to enjoy this amazing country in peace.

  123. Sue
    14 Jun 12
    11:18 pm

  124. @ ByebyeAussie #55

    You said ” You don’t get to decide which is god’s country and who deserves to live in there.”

    Well actually we do for our country – it’s our and we decide who can live here. Sorry if you don’t like that but all countries do it. I can’t go and live in the UK and I respect the right of your country to decide such things.

  125. A Pom
    15 Jun 12
    4:59 pm

  126. @Sue. I think ByeByeAussie is already living here in God’s country? He / She is just moaning that the rent is going up, as are the food bills, oh and a cheap as flight back to Blighty once a year is another thing goooooorn.

    Hey ho, ByeByeAussie will just have to live, erm, like an Aussie!
    - She’ll be right!!!!

    Australia is one expensive place at the moment though!!!

    Why are cars so expensive? If we booted out a load of ad execs and reduced car adverts, could we bring down the price of car’s? They are so cheap in the USA! Is it economies of scale or is it pure rort?

  127. Vladimir
    15 Jun 12
    6:09 pm

  128. @ A Pom #63 I keep read “Pom” as Porn” – shows the way I think i guess.

    Re cars being expensive – its a case of what the market will bear and economies of scale.

    I know one luxury manufacturer that makes over $100K profit on their top of the line $250K car. They could lower the cost, but they make more money with less sales but a much higher margin.

    And luxury manufactures sell thier cars much cheaper in the USA than they do in Britain, Germany or Australia – much of the reasoning is because these markets will pay more so they charge more.

  129. A Pom
    16 Jun 12
    5:57 pm

  130. @ Vladamir #64 I keep reading “Vladimir” as “Spectacular” – fairgrounds and pondering estimates..?

    Brand new Mini Cooper 2012 (ad execs love that car) $20k in the US. (LAFHA rorters would pay $26k for the ‘s’)…

    Is there any logic other than economies of scale? If so, I rock at digital marketing, I am great at sales and customer service; so might set up a fcking massive car lot and get the price down on the units: Sell 5 to Parramatta Pete’s 1, however ‘turnover’ stock like a Pom sunbathing on Bondi Beach!

    Vladimir. Do you know a man who goes by the name Terry Tibbs?

    Thank you and good night.

  131. Aboriginal's beware of Sue
    19 Jun 12
    1:50 pm

  132. Hi Sue, did you decide that Aboriginals can stay in ‘your’ country? After all, the decision making appears to be down to you. I hope you got paperwork for your ownership of Austra’ia.

    It’s interesting to see the small minded approach of a few individuals on this board. The ‘if you don’t like it go home from where you came from approach’ shows a lack of economic understanding and bigotry but don’t worry. Australia is a decent place, with (on the whole) great people. Obviously you get the small minded yocals everywhere.

  133. wow, some people here really are backward
    19 Jun 12
    4:53 pm

  134. totally agree with aboriginals sue – some of your guys are either trolling or are as backwards as some parts of this country. “if you dont like it go home” “take the next BA flight” wow, words fail me. Im a Pom, never had LAFHA so it doesnt bother me that its going. What gets me going are the small minded fools that say if you dont like it, eff off. Man that is so 1980s…. What riles me more is how inept the govt has been in this whole situation and has made me question australias credentials. Good luck to all going back to Europe/the States, sorry to hear how LAFHA going has affected you so badly.

  135. GoodByeLAFHA
    20 Jun 12
    11:16 pm

  136. Well, thanks you “Aboriginal’s beware of Sue” for some sensible input in this one sided discussion. I have a few concerns (this is very mild) though:

    - a @Dave i live in the inner West for 400$/week in a studio(!!!) flat (in my home country germany (look it up, the country is doing TOO well) I’d pay a quarter of that sum). But hey, you seem to be up for a constructive discussion, which I am up for.

    – @A pom. Your arguments are starting to annoy everyone. There is this person, who has been here or years and trying to suck up to locals in the sense (PR-here it is dude). A lot of us are here on 457, how do we get a PR? You seem to be simplistic man who gets around in life, so please explain us how?

    - @Sue. i feel sad for you. Proper education would have eliminated that attitude tumour of yours. Here’s a suggestion from a frequent travel like me: Read the inflight magazine, that will (hopefully) increase your common sense by a factor of 3!

  137. A Pom
    21 Jun 12
    7:59 am

  138. @GoodByeLAFHA. Sorry, I do not understand what you mean? Can you re write the sentence so it makes sense please?

    $400 for a studio?! I have friends on 457′s. Paying $200 a week in shared accommodation. It is your choice to live in a studio and pay so much. You could halve that amount and house share in a much larger house.

  139. Simon
    21 Jun 12
    2:01 pm

  140. The problem I have with all this, is that although the tax benefit is being taken away, (which is hard on some of us with families who suddenly see our take home drop) but people should remember that we aren’t all top execs on massive salaries by the way.

    The fact is that if your a 457 you can’t get residency for 2 year, you have zero job security (if you lose your job you have a ludicrously short amount of time to get another before having to leave), you get almost zero rights compared a resident or citizen, you have to pay all your own kids school fees, health cover etc. Loans or finance are almost impossible to get.

    Even my partner who is a front line paramedic came over with me only to discover that NSW ambulance service won’t hire people on 457′s so she is having to do other work and see her skills disappear (that was a massive issue as her salary is massively less than we thought when making the decision to move). Also I’m doing the work on my own that the UK and US offices do with 5-7 people, and thats something I hear alot, 457 holders are often massively overworked and have very little recourse, many companies essentially work 457 holders into the ground safe in the knowledge they would have major trouble trying to find alternative sponsors.

    People should stop and think, people are brought in on 457 visas often because their skills are considered essential, yes there are people who could be considered as abusing the system, but many more were hired with lafha considered in the desicion to move. I bet not many aussie would like to see whats essentially a massive pay cut with little warning

  141. JB Camerom
    23 Jun 12
    6:59 pm

  142. We have 6 months to go on our contract in Australia and the nett result of the LAFHA tax change is that our monthly lease cost has doubled. The electricity accounts are about to go up by 20% and the insurance cost up by about the same. Do we get an adjustment for the carbon tax increase. In your dreams. Who does.

    Yes we are maintaining a home overseas. Australia is not the only country looking for highly skill executives.

  143. Backward Pollys
    26 Jun 12
    10:43 pm

  144. Swan says that up to $150k per year will see some carbon pricing offset? How so, if you are a resident for tax purposes only? Unable to receive any benefit related to Childcare, Education, Kids Bonus…. If only I could make my feeling felt at the ballot box……….

    This a great country being ruined by a bunch of reactive politicians with no thought to the long term needs. Every decision/action seems to be about dealing with todays expenses, not about establishing a long term action plan to take care of a bigger Australia. The potential of this country is huge. If only it wasn’t limited by a bunch of amateurs more worried about their column inches and airtime

  145. A Pom
    27 Jun 12
    9:38 am

  146. @Backward Polly. Are you saying that you do not, will not, or cant become a citizen?

  147. are you really a pom, A Pom?
    27 Jun 12
    10:03 am

  148. wow A Pom – our brother from the fatherland in Germany makes a sensible statement, yet you still dont get it?!?! Your arguments dont make any sense, and your writing does nothing more than say you are a bitter twisted little man. And as for the “i have friends” statement, I highly doubt that. Your writing screams out in the “pick me, pick me” fashion that you are truly a sook and suck up to locals, rejecting all of your roots. Cretin. Nothing more than a troll.

  149. A Pom
    27 Jun 12
    5:39 pm

  150. @are you really a pom, A Pom?

    Who mentioned anything about @Backward Pollys being German?

    Are you @Backward Pollys?

    Secondly, I am not trolling, more trying to understand why Australia needs to offer professionals in adland tax breaks? (I can understand offering nurses if we are short there, or teachers, doctors etc…)

    Have a good evening all the same!

  151. are you really a pom, A Pom?
    28 Jun 12
    9:18 am

  152. i was talking about the German writer “GoodbyeLAFHA” – you really are a moron. Read some of your posts on other stories – the backwards “if you dont like it, the airport is down the road” – we are in 2012, not 1980s. And yes, you are a troll.

  153. A Pom
    28 Jun 12
    10:06 am

  154. @are you really a pom, A Pom?

    Oh I see. You have only just joined the conversation?

    Again. I do not see why Australia needs to give professionals in the ad industry tax breaks. I do feel for people who have made plans assuming LAFHA will not run out, however I truly feel that if somebody really wants to stay here, they will battle and find a way.

    In central Africa women and children get killed for fun. In Syria innocent Syrians are fleeing their country, evading a civil war. Losing a little rental aid in Sydney is quite simply not the end of the world and people who continually moan are out of touch with the big wide world we inhabit.

    Again, no hard feelings, even though you have been quite rude!

  155. are you really a pom, A Pom?
    28 Jun 12
    11:08 am

  156. why oh why are you using the developing and war torn countries as part of your argument? MIght as well say we shouldnt get paid a salary at all and all money gets funneld to the said countries. It isnt just adland that gets the tax breaks – but accountants, solicitors, engineers… Im not being rude, just open and up front – a bit like you, when saying to poor families that will have been genuinely affected by losing LAFHA and your response, and i quote, is “toodles – airport is that way….” I hope i dont know you – your whole attitude and responsiveness stinks.

  157. @are you really a pom, A Pom?
    28 Jun 12
    3:27 pm

  158. Sorry oh righteous one. There is a reprieve now, so all adlanders and non adlanders on tax breaks will get a further 3 months avoiding paying full rentals, some taxes etc

    I hope I don’t know anyone who has called me a cretin!

    Good day!

  159. Quietly Amused
    28 Jun 12
    5:43 pm

  160. I love the fact that most of these posts are during working hours!? Hope you are all working hard, for your aussie salary

  161. Simon
    28 Jun 12
    8:57 pm

  162. Let be straight here, this change was made with only 3 months notice, the lose of LAHFA wouldn’t have been such an issue to those of us with family who aren’t on massive salaries if we had been given a decent chance to make the needed adjustments. I hate this attitue of well so what go home if you don’t like it attitude, it does nothing but make aussies look like vindictive nasty people. Just consider that people have commitments that they are stuck in, people have rental contracts that may still have 8 or 9 months on with no way out, its idiotic to simplify the lose of LAFHA into well sure you can survive if you try, this country is full of individuals, yes some can afford to right off a bit of lost money, other on tight budgets like health workers, and low paid workers are suddenly in a situation where they have commitments they are locked into.

  163. Quietly Amused
    29 Jun 12
    12:34 pm

  164. Completely agree with Simon

  165. AdGrunt
    29 Jun 12
    2:45 pm

  166. Simon, are you telling us that some Australians are simplistic xenophobes?

    Surely not.

  167. Quietly Amused
    29 Jun 12
    5:36 pm

  168. Completely agree with Simon – minus the “vindictive nasty people” bit.

    Every argument here has merit, however that merit is lost when massive brush strokes are made about Nationalities/Cultures etc. This is about politics and economics, if you want to put a xenophobic/racist spin on it keep it to yourself.

  169. Simon
    29 Jun 12
    9:21 pm

  170. I’m not calling all aussies nasty, just the observation that so many threads on this forum and others have comments saying ‘”Go home if you don’t like it” and even many that are not so direct have an undertone of a complete lack sympathy towards people who have to adapt to a ludicrously short change in the rules.

    As I said, it does nothing but make many aussies” look” like vindictive people, the key word is look in that sentence, I see very little aussie comment that seem to accept the change is also a real issue to those who are not execs,like health workers, has anyone looked at the skills list, it incudes everyone from tv execs to bakers, sheep shearers, window cleaners and nurses, many of which struggle anyway let alone having to adapt to changes like this with commitments they cannot avoid and the first 2 years unable to become a resident.

    I’m not saying all aussies are nasty, I have enough common sense not to tarnish a country of individuality with one brush, I just hate having to read comments like well go home, its small minded and shows no consideration to others. The world is far more complex and when dealing with this number of indivuals more time should have been given to allow the poorest affected time to adapt. Ad exec won’t care but those on lower incomes will be the hardest hit. So go home is not a sympathetic view.

    If you have to read endless comments saying as such is does little to show australia in a good light, it suggests alot of people without enough intelligence to do anything other than generalize, putting all on LAFHA as rich execs living in Bondi is idiotic, it must make up a almost impossibly small percentage of those it affects.

    Throwing everyone into turmoil with only a few months, is typical knee jerk politics, sort one problem and generate another I think will be the outcome, I have a full year before I can apply for PR and it will be alot tougher than I thought. Were all here to live life and get along, and do our bit, so less of the hating please.

  171. GoodByeLAFHA
    29 Jun 12
    11:56 pm

  172. @are you really a pom, A Pom? :
    Thanks for someone finally getting my message!

    @Quietly amused: True, there are certain people who seem to be crusading in their entire daytime against LAFHA without being a) affected and b) Australian (not to mention their self-acclaimed authority on what sort of standard of life we ought to live).

    Funny how biased the internet turns out to be. Most of the Australian comments suggest the lowest level of judgement, intellectual capacity and capability to differentiate, but 99% of the Australians actually met face to face suggest the exact opposite.

  173. A Pom
    30 Jun 12
    12:15 pm

  174. @ Simon

    My point exactly Simon. Health workers trying to make ends meet, might result in them having no choice but to head back to Ireland, England, etc

    The very short notice to all is hard, however for workers in the advertising and media industries, who truly want to stay in Oz, for the long term, it will be hard, however make changes and dig deep and I am sure you will be fine!

    I have broken a lease before and moved to a cheaper suburb to save money. I have cancelled a Foxtel subscription. I have dined out less and made the most of cooking enormous stews and freezing 3 further meals. I am sure you can scrimp and save and get through this period if you want to stay in Oz.

    I sympathise for you and people who have received short notice. I do not sympathise for the boistrous LAFHA brigade who rort and lord it up, when quite frankly they do not ‘need’ to. I know people whinging personally (friends) and I am giving it to them and keeping them honest because they quite frankly get paid enough and could become PR’s.

    As for families and people who will be truly inconvenienced and have not been sitting pretty on lAFHA for the last 4+ years good luck to you!