September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Now in its 27th year, the Business Travel Awards
Air passengers using UK airports have paid more than £27 billion in Air Passenger Duty in the 20 years since the aviation tax was introduced.
The Fair Tax on Flying alliance of travel firms revealed that the UK government has cashed in to the tune of £27.035 billion in total APD payments on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the duty’s introduction in 1994. APD is expected to bring in £3.2 billion in the 2014/15 tax year.
The alliance, which is made up of aviation and travel organisations and companies, wants the government to review the impact of APD on the UK economy and reduce the amounts charged to passengers before the next general election in May 2015.
Campaigners against APD say that only four other countries in the European Union (Germany, France, Italy and Austria) currently charge an aviation tax and that UK rates are as much as five times higher.
While other EU countries such as Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and Ireland decided to scrap air taxes because they affected their international competitiveness.
Nathan Stower, chief executive of BATA, said: “It is a scandal that an island trading nation like the UK still has the world’s highest tax on flying despite recent positive changes to long-haul rates.
“Few countries have followed the UK’s example in taxing air passengers and policymakers should stop and consider why. Countries such as the Netherlands and Ireland have abolished their equivalent taxes having recognised their damaging economic impact.”
BAR UK (Board of Airline Representatives in the UK) chief executive Dale Keller added: “We are confident that a Treasury-led review of APD would confirm the damage being done to our economy and the UK’s global competitiveness. We believe that an urgent re-examination will reveal the very real opportunity to raise more revenues in the longer term through stimulating the economy.
“In light of 20 years that the duty has grown disproportionately and inhibited growth, we urge the Chancellor to do more to support business and ordinary consumers and reform the tax."