Increased UK plane tax could hinder tourism in New Zealand

The UK Government has announced that its Air Passenger Duty (APD) will increase this April. New Zealand is worried that the tax hike on long haul flights from the UK could harm tourism.

The tax, which increases from £85 to £92 for flights to New Zealand, is based on the distance travelled.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is lobbying the UK Government on what he regards as an unjustified tax, claiming that environmental concerns have already been addressed through the European Union's extension of the Emissions Trading Scheme to aviation emissions.

"That puts a levy on airlines – meaning there is no justification for an additional duty on air passengers which discriminates on the basis of distance," he said. "The APD places a significant burden on New Zealand businesses, on families who travel, and on our tourism industry."

UK air passengers are already the most heavily taxed in the world and on average, they pay almost nine times more duty than their European counterparts.

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