13 Nov 2012

EU plane tax suspension hailed by NZ

8:13 pm on 13 November 2012

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says a decision by the European Union to suspend a carbon tax on airlines vindicates the Government's opposition to its implementation.

The tax was introduced in January despite protest from countries such as the United States, Russia, China and New Zealand.

The United Kingdom has one of the highest departure taxes in the world and some of that revenue was earmarked for the implementation of environmental policies.

Mr Key says this is one reason why any additional carbon tax is not warranted.

The EU's Climate Commissioner says she agreed on the freeze for a year to create a positive atmosphere for international talks on an alternative global plan to tackle airline emissions.

Mr Key says New Zealand has always opposed the tax and supports a global agreement along with the United States, Russia, China and India.

The tax would make airlines pay for their carbon emissions flying to and from EU airports.

Air New Zealand and the Tourism Association both say the announcement to freeze the introduction of the tax for a year is good news for New Zealand's travel industry.