Tax on tourism condemned by industry

Date Posted: 02/04/2012

The higher rate of Air Passenger Duty (APD) has now taken effect, with airline passengers having to swallow an increase of eight per cent.

Most short haul European flights will only see an increase of £1, but flights to long haul destinations will see bigger increases. ADP for a flight to America has risen from £240 to £260 for a family of four. Next year it is set to rise again by a further £2 and £4 per passenger with the airline industry united in its condemnation of what is being dubbed as a “a tax on tourism” by the British Air Transport Association (BATA). Several campaigns have lobbeyed against rises in ADP, including 'A Fair Tax on Flying' by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

BATA chief executive Simon Buck said: “It beggars belief that APD is rising yet again and by such a vast amount. It has become a tax on tourism, making it increasingly difficult for ordinary families to afford their annual summer getaway.

“Here in Britain we already pay the highest aviation duty of any country in Europe. The Government must end its obsession with raising ever-increasing sums from air passengers, which is pricing ordinary families out of the skies.”

A HM Treasury spokesperson said: “The Government took action by freezing Air Passenger Duty last year and we’ve always been clear that APD would go up this April. The majority of passengers will only pay an extra £1 as a result of the rise. As announced at the Autumn Statement, we are also extending APD to private business jets for the first time.

“It is also worth noting that unlike some other European countries, the UK does not levy VAT on domestic flights and aviation fuel is not taxed. The aviation industry will also benefit from the record low corporation tax.”

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