In a pre-budget plea letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, UKinbound, which represents nearly 400 of the country’s key tourism businesses, has appealed for a reduction in Air Passenger Duty (APD).
UKinbound, chief executive officer, Deirdre Wells OBE (pictured above), said: “A reduction in APD would be a clear message to the tourism industry and businesses across the UK that the Government is committed to its vision of a Brexit ready Britain. Effectively a tax on trade, we need to signal to Europe and the rest of the world that the UK continues to be open for business. Tourism is the UK’s sixth biggest export earner and it’s imperative that our industry build vital trading partners post-Brexit to ensure the economy doesn’t adversely suffer.
“The Government acted on concerns earlier this year when it confirmed a freeze on APD band B destinations, but this is not enough to safeguard our nation’s competitiveness in a post-Brexit environment.”
· The UK is at a competitive disadvantage, paying more than double the tax of its nearest European trading rival, Germany
· A cut of at least 50% will reduce the tax burden on UK businesses seeking to maintain and expand new markets overseas
· The UK charges the highest level of aviation taxes across the EU, with the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands amongst a number of European nations who do not charge an APD equivalent in order to boost connectivity, growth and tourism
· Research by PwC found that significantly reducing or abolishing APD would create tens of thousands of new jobs
· Following the Smith Commission’s report (2014), the Scottish Government is committed to reducing APD on flights leaving Scottish airports by 50%