Passengers now pay more to leave Australia

After two hours of debate the lower house has unanimously passed a bill to increase the amount passengers leaving Australia are charged.

Once the measure passes the Senate, those departing the country after July 1 will be charged $55, an $8 increase.

But the federal government dropped a plan to index the passenger movement charge annually in line with rises in the consumer price index (CPI).

This was something the coalition had demanded based on concerns from the tourism industry.

However it still took the chance to bash the government for retreating from the planned budget measure.

Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey labelled it the "third strike" after the government amended an earlier bill debated on Wednesday so it no longer doubled the managed investment trust withholding tax, and suggested it might implement corporate tax cuts after all.

Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare told the chamber that in fact the government had decided to drop the indexation based on recommendations from a parliamentary committee.

The government will use some of the money raised to set up a special fund aimed at helping regional tourism ventures.

The Passenger Movement Charge Amendment Bill 2012 will now proceed to the Senate.

AAP

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