It’s a taxing time for East Midlands Airport

14.7.2009   (This is Derbyshire)

A  top British business figure has said it would be a blow to the East Midlands
economy if the Government brings in new taxes on the airline industry.

David Frost, director-general of the British Chamber of Commerce, claimed that
East Midlands Airport – one of the largest freight operations in the UK – would
see its business badly hit by new taxes.

He made the comments after Prime Minister Gordon Brown suggested that levies
on the aviation industry could help pay for measures to tackle climate change.

Mr Frost said: “I was fortunate enough to have a walk around East Midlands’ freight
operation at midnight and I was absolutely staggered by the scale of their business.
It seems to me, from everything I’ve been told, that the operations there should
continue to grow if allowed. But the implications of a new tax regime for the
industry would be very significant for airports, particularly the likes of East

“If you have new taxes that are not conducive to the growth of aviation then
business will move away from the UK and the East Midlands to other countries.”  

Some Labour MPs have long lobbied for new levies on aviation – suggesting in
particular that jet fuel should be taxed.

North West Leicestershire MP David Taylor told the Commons last week that there
were so few taxes on aviation that Al Capone – jailed for tax evasion – would
have been proud to be a part of it.

He said:    “I don’t accept, nor have I seen any evidence, that a new tax on aviation
fuel would damage the East Midlands economy for a moment.”    Over 6,900 people
work across 105 businesses based at East Midlands Airport, 290 employed by the
airport itself.

It is the UK’s number-one airport for “pure freight” – planes which only carry
cargo – managing 300,000 tonnes a year.

Penny Coates, East Midlands Airport managing director, said:    “Any additional
or extra taxation is a major cause of concern for passengers and the tens of thousands
of people employed in the aviation industry.

“It undermines long-haul route development and puts jobs at risk.”



see also


Airlines call for rethink on tax

11.7.2009       The world’s airline industry is urging the UK government to abandon a rise in
air passenger duty, which would mean long-haul flight prices rising.  IATA warns
the levy is damaging the industry.  Britain is the only place to have such a tax
and the Treasury now wants to base it on how far people fly. Ministers say flying
is relatively “undertaxed”. Under the government’s plans, the tax will rise to
£85 for Australia and £60 to the US by November next year. (BBC)  

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