APD increase ‘defies logic’, says industry lobby group

APD increase 'defies logic', says industry lobby groupBy Phil Davies,

Another last-ditch industry plea for Chancellor George Osborne to rethink his approach to Air Passenger Duty in the Budget has come today from A Fair Tax on Flying.

The lobby group says another rise in the air tax would “defy economic logic” and is calling for a cut in the duty, to “promote growth, create jobs, and safeguard the fragile recovery the aviation and tourism industries have been experiencing”.

The Chancellor is expected to increase APD again in this year’s Budget – at the same time as Ireland prepares to scrap its equivalent Air Travel Tax from April 1.

That will leave the UK as one of just five countries in Europe to levy any kind of passenger departure tax on flights.

The Fair Tax on Flying campaign says that more than 100 MPs now back calls for the government to undertake a macro-economic review of APD. The CBI last week called for APD to be frozen.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “We call once again upon the Chancellor to do the right thing and take steps to reduce APD, which is having a damaging impact on UK growth.

“We believe that a macro-economic impact assessment by the Treasury would draw the same conclusions that we, and other independent studies, have come to: that the UK economy would receive a huge boost if the tax were reformed. In light of this we sincerely hope the Chancellor re-thinks his planned increase.”

British Air Transport Association chief executive Simon Buck said: “We believe whole-heartedly that the only course of action that the Treasury should be following on APD is to reduce it, to promote growth, create jobs, and safeguard the fragile recovery the aviation and tourism industries have been experiencing, as well as to show faith in the UK economy as a whole.

“To increase the tax yet again would – quite simply– defy economic logic, acting as a further brake on inbound and outbound tourism.”

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association added: “The UK is one of only a small band of countries in Europe which still levies APD. “Year-on-year increases in the tax are increasingly acting as a barrier to growth and investment, and putting us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our nearest international rivals.

“Last year the Chancellor cut taxes for beer drinkers. Isn’t it high time he delivered some good economic news for the millions of people in the UK who use air travel to visit loved ones, do business and take a well-earned family holiday?”

Sourced by Travel Weekly

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