NZ Budget springs surprise new passenger levy

Fiscal measures to make paying for strengthening New Zealand’s borders “fairer” appears to have blindsided the country’s travel industry leaders, one of whom described the move as a “clear surprise”.
In his Budget speech to the NZ parliament, Minister of Finance Bill English (pictured) said he was introducing a new levy to fund passenger-related biosecurity and customs activities at the border. “It is fairer that these costs fall on travellers,” he said.
Mr English said that “currently, the cost of these activities – which protect New Zealand from imported pests, diseases, illegal drugs and other threats – are met by taxpayers.
“The Government considers it fairer for the cost to fall on travellers, as happens in many other countries. A per-passenger levy also helps ensure that border services are funded to meet future demand.
“The new Border Clearance Levy is expected to take effect from 1 January 2016 and, subject to consultation, will be around $16 for arriving passengers and around $6 for departing passengers. It will raise around $100 million a year.
“At the same time, the Budget expands some border activities, including an additional $25 million over four years for more biosecurity services such as x-ray machines and detector dogs.
“The Budget also provides $33 million over four years for more immigration staff at a time of record-breaking visitor numbers.”

One thought on “NZ Budget springs surprise new passenger levy

  • May 28, 2015 at 7:46 pm
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    I’m stunned to see this too. As a small accommodation business, I sure this will hit us hard.. I note that the tax will raise approximately $100 Mil per year, the Budget suggests only an extra $58 Mil will be allocated to Biosecurity. Where does the other $42 mil go????

    Ummmm that will no doubt get gobbled up be the costs of collection and distribution etc.. REALLY COOL that National Government…

    Reply

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