The AFAP has written to the Prime Minister and the Transport Minister with a proposal for tax relief on impacted pilots who are currently drawing down on leave balances. The text of the letter, signed by AFAP President Captain Louise Pole, is reproduced below:
“As you are aware, aviation has been dramatically impacted as a result of the measures taken to contain the spread of coronavirus. The vast majority of Australian airline pilots have been stood down without pay and, where possible, are drawing down on their annual leave and long service leave balances in order to have any income. Currently there is also no clear end in sight.
I implore you and your Government to do whatever you can to provide wage relief for pilots during this incredibly difficult time for our profession and the industry generally.
On behalf of our members, the AFAP would like to propose that the Government could provide immediate tax relief for those pilots who have been stood down and are currently utilising their accrued leave entitlements in order to sustain an income. The proposal is that, if these leave payments were not subject to any income tax then the employers could stop withholding taxation from the subject employees’ payments. This measure (not requiring and therefore not withholding any taxation) would have an immediate effect on pilots’ income and potentially delay their move to other welfare payments.
Please consider this proposal and any other measure which would provide some much-needed wage relief for Australian pilots.”