Crikey! Australia is taxing brothels, leading to this sketchy AFP story via Yahoo News that foreign backpackers and students are flat on their outbacks, "especially" in "northern Queensland." Bonus points for weak sources, no stats, magical pic (on right), and strange use of English ("overheads"?):
Many young tourists to sun-soaked northeastern Queensland state were making a quick buck as black market prostitutes, undermining registered operators' attempts to uphold health and safety standards, the Queensland Adult Business Association's Nick Inskip claimed….
Having fewer overheads, they could often undercut the legal sex industry on price, making it harder for the state's 23 legal brothels to make a profit, he said.
"They can charge less because they are not paying GST (goods and services tax), staff costs for managers and receptionists," Inskip said.
The tax office, which recently began a drive to collect tax from the industry, was also hard pressed to keep tabs on their undercover activities, he said….
Although prostitution at registered brothels is legal in many parts of Australia, recent research suggests the taxman's attempts to target the industry has sparked an exodus towards riskier illegal sex work.
Academics have also noted that the crippling cost of higher education in Australia has forced some foreign students to seek work as illegal prostitutes to make ends meet.