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


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