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UK Review of Air Passenger Duty

The UK Government's consultation on Air Passenger Duty closed last Friday. The Government wanted to refocus APD ?on its core objectives of raising
revenues for the Exchequer in a simple, fair and efficient manner,
whilst recognising that the Government’s goals for limiting global
emissions from aviation are primarily to be delivered through
international mechanisms such as the EU emissions trading scheme?.

The Government is also considering extending the tax to private jets and helicopters, currently exempt.

The Government had already abandoned plans to charge APD on a per-plane basis, rather than per passenger. Read more  The consultation document can be downloaded at
cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/2011budget_airpassenger.pdf

There is full briefing on the ABTA website

There is particular concern that the government intends to continue to impose APD as a revenue tax alongside the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, arguably designed with green objectives. ABTA argues that this is double taxation and that

“the general public must not be disenfranchised by using economic
instruments as a means of raising costs of aviation. Tax rises are
socially regressive and will impact most upon those who can least afford
it and lead to families being priced out of taking flights. This is
especially acute for lower socio-economic groups and ethnic minorities
visiting friends and relatives abroad.”

The aviation industry, airlines and airports, have not been able to come to a common position, the competing interests are too large for a consensus to emerge.

Keith Williams, the new CEO of BA, argues that aviation is the most overtaxed industry in Britain. He argues that

“Aviation’s role in
supporting our country should be celebrated ? it generates more than 500,000
jobs, supports an inbound tourism industry that is worth ?16?billion a year,
and provides the transport network that British businesses need for success
in a global economy. Flying is a social good, too. It brings friends and
families together, broadens horizons, strengthens international links and
creates opportunities.” read more

The Daily Telegraph on 22 June carried an article which conveys some of the range of views held by airlines and governments read more

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