New Zealand Protests UK Aviation Tax Hike

By Editorial 14 December, 2011

The UK's decision to increase Air Passenger Duty (APD) has sparked fierce criticism in New Zealand and Australia.

The British government has recently been reviewing the structure of the APD, and as a result of proposals in the 2012 Finance Bill, the tax will increase from GBP85 (USD133) to GBP92 per economy class passenger entering New Zealand from the UK in April 2012.

This increase has been slammed by Prime Minister John Key who has expressed concerns over the effects on business and tourism.

“The APD places a significant burden on New Zealand businesses, on families who travel, and on our tourism industry,” said Key.

The Prime Minister also disparaged the UK government's decision to use environmental grounds to justify imposing a higher levy on long-distance flights.

“With the tax for New Zealand-bound passengers set at four or five times the costs of offsetting the carbon emissions produced, this logic is without basis,” said Key. “The British government’s announcement... maintains this cost difference, and ignores the fact that environmental concerns about emissions are being addressed through the European Union’s extension of its Emissions Trading Scheme to aviation emissions."

The Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand released a joint statement on Wednesday with Australia’s Tourism and Transport Forum calling the APD a “discriminatory, arbitrary tax”.

“It unfairly penalizes British residents wishing to visit long-haul destinations like Australia and New Zealand, as well as impacting visitors to Britain from long-haul source markets," remarked Tourism & Transport Forum Australia Chief Executive John Lee. “It’s a tax on tourism which reaps billions of pounds in revenue for the British government masquerading as environmental policy."

Key also stated that he had tried to prevent such an increase and encouraged organizations to hold emergency meetings to try and overcome the issues raised as soon as possible. Australia has also been encouraged to follow suit.

Tags: Individuals | Expatriates | Tax | Business | Air Passenger Duty (APD) | Aviation | Australia | United Kingdom | Travel And Tourism | New Zealand |


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