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Government introduces urgent budget bills

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/05/2016

The government has introduced urgent legislation to phase out a subsidy in the Emissions Trading Scheme and increase excise tax on tobacco.

Both measures were announced in the budget.

The ETS subsidy that's being phased out was introduced as a temporary measure during the global financial crisis.

It allowed some businesses to pay for one emissions unit for every two tonnes of pollution they emit, which meant they were paying half what they would otherwise have paid.

"We believe it's time businesses moved towards paying the market price for their emissions," Finance Minister Bill English said in his budget speech.

Tobacco excise is going to increase by 10 per cent every year for the next four years.

That will take the price of a standard pack of 20 cigarettes from around $20, which it is now, to around $30 by 2020.

It has been estimated that previous increases cut smoking by about a quarter.

Parliament will sit under urgency until both bills have been passed.

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