You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Parliament passes first budget bill

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/05/2016
Finance Minister Bill English delivers his Budget 2016 speech to Parliament. © RNZ/Elliott Childs Finance Minister Bill English delivers his Budget 2016 speech to Parliament.

Parliament has passed the first of two budget bills.

The government put parliament into urgency on Thursday night to pass 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.

The bill was passed unanimously on Friday morning, and parliament has started debating the tobacco excise bill.

It increases excise by 10 per cent a year for the next four years - a continuation of the annual 10 per cent annual hikes that were put in place for four years in May 2012.

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.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon