Budget 2013: Airlines losing confidence in APD cut
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Airlines are losing confidence that Chancellor George Osborne will scrap Air Passenger Duty (APD) and in turn “boost jobs and growth”, the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK) has said.
Ahead of the Budget announcement on Wednesday (20 March), Dale Keller, chief executive of BAR UK said Osborne has failed to see the impact of the tax on the UK economy, from both the outbound and inbound perspective.
More than 200,000 emails have been sent to MPs regarding the tax and calling for a review into the damages caused by the fees. A recent report found the UK to have the same level of competition with Chad when it comes to aviation, in the bottom two of 139.
“As the UK fights off challengers to its position as the world’s leading aviation hub, airlines have become alarmed by the apparent lack of Treasury understanding that Air Passenger Duty (APD) is a fundamental component of aviation policy. The Chancellor wants a connected economy that’s on the move and aviation is absolutely central to achieving this,” said Keller.
“Yet the Government seems single-minded in its desire to clip the wings of an industry that continues to be one of our remaining success stories and which funds its own infrastructure. Does the UK really need, or deserve, the highest aviation tax in the world by a considerable margin?”
“Perhaps airlines have been so successful in delivering an efficient and more sophisticated travelling experience that the Chancellor’s perception is that of an industry generating fat margins and huge profits,” he continued. “It cannot be right that the Treasury and Government can continue to dismiss over 200,000 emails to MP’s, 12,000 emails to cabinet ministers, continued calls for a Treasury economic impact review, compelling new evidence in a PricewaterhouseCoopers report based on the Treasury’s own modelling and expert input from ‘A Fair Tax on Flying’ and virtually every trade association and industry analyst.”
In addition, and to tie in with English Tourism Week, Travelodge’s CEO Grant Hearn has called on the government to think of tourism as a ‘first tier’ industry in terms of its economic and employment input.