September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
UK airports have called for “clarity” from chancellor George Osborne around the controversial air passenger duty (APD) in the upcoming Budget.
The Airport Operators Association (AOA), which represents 55 UK airports, wants the chancellor to respond to a review that was launched last July in response to the devolution of APD to Scotland and Wales which could result in “competitive distortion”.
The organisation added any devolution of powers could have a “detrimental impact” on many airports around the country.
AOA CEO Darren Caplan said the issue “cannot be allowed to drag on for any longer”.
As part of the review from the UK Treasury, it published a discussion paper which considered three options to support airport from the impact of devolution: the devolution of APD within England; establishing variable rates of APD within England; and providing aid to regional airports within England.
The AOA wants Osborne to respond to this review when he delivers his Budget statement on March 16.
Caplan said despite changes on the long-haul APD rates and exemption for Children, the UK still has the highest rates in the world and this is harming the economy.
“With the Budget due next month, we urge the Government to take this opportunity to reduce APD by at least half, so that the UK rate is no higher than that of our closest European competitors,” he said.
“Doing so would result in more people travelling, more jobs, more business and as a result higher tax revenues for the Treasury from the increased economic activity.”
He added: “The prime minister was quite clear during the 2015 General Election campaign that he would not allow unfair tax competition to damage UK airports and we now need to see him honour this commitment.
“The AOA has consistently said that a reduction in APD in Scotland should be matched by the equivalent cut everywhere, so that no part of the country is disadvantaged.
“Whatever policy response the Government settles on, however, it needs to publish this very soon, so that the industry can start planning for the future with a degree of certainty. This cannot be allowed to drag on any longer.”
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