Following today’s Budget, UK airports urge the Chancellor to rule out ‘double taxation’ on flying in 2012

Posted: 23 March 2011 | Airport Operators Association (AOA) | No comments yet

The AOA welcomed the fact that the Chancellor has listened to submissions and decided to freeze APD at current rates for this year…

The Airport Operators Association (AOA) today welcomed the fact that the Chancellor has listened to submissions made by AOA members and others – such as the ‘Fair Tax on Flying’ campaign – and decided to freeze Air Passenger Duty (APD) at current rates for this year.

However, the AOA is warning that passengers still face the prospect of ‘double taxation’ and further increases in flying taxes when aviation enters the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in 2012; and also that the Chancellor may raise APD next year.

APD in the UK is already up to 8.5 times more than the European average. Many European countries have either already abandoned their aviation taxes, or indicated that they will do so, due to the negative effects on their economies, including: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Ireland and Malta.

Even with the freeze, the UK economy is already losing £750m in GDP and 18,000 jobs as a direct result of the recent November 2010 rises in APD, not to mention the thousands of UK tourism jobs lost because less people can afford to holiday here. Scotland alone is estimated to be losing over 1.2m passengers, 148,000 tourists and £77m in revenue in the next three years.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association, said:

“UK airports cautiously welcome the fact that Air Passenger Duty is not going up immediately, though would not support the delayed increase coming into effect next year. We now call on the Chancellor to emulate the decisions of European competitor nations to reduce or abolish APD in the UK.

“Additionally, many people aren’t aware that UK aviation is also joining the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in 2012. This means that as things stand passengers will be subject to the costs of both ETS as well as aviation tax, so that holidaymakers and business travellers will effectively be paying double taxation next year.

“The Chancellor now needs to set out the government’s approach on reducing taxes on flying when the ETS comes in, otherwise passengers will simply be facing an actual tax increase later on in this 2011‐12 financial year. There should be no double taxation of British aviation.”

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