Aviation industry “Fair Tax on Flying” promoting their campaign to cut APD, yet again…
A Fair Tax on Flying, an alliance of more than 30 airlines and tour operators, has launched (yet again) a new website which it hopes will encourage at least 100,000 Britons to register their opposition to Air Passenger Duty (APD). The campaign wants people to send a standard letter to their MP (no possibility to adapt or alter the letter, or for the person to add their own words) to complain about having to pay APD. The campaign complains (yawn, we have seen this several times before) that other European countries pay less tax on air travel. The campaign does not give the slightest hint that the reason why the UK government charges APD is because air travel pays no VAT and no fuel tax. This is all very self serving, and predictably self interested, PR by the travel industry. Somewhat irresponsible too.
Email your MP over high air tax, Britons told (Telegraph backing it, of course)
British travellers have been urged to email their local MP over escalating Air Passenger Duty (APD).
8 Comments [Even the people commenting are not persuaded by this story, and can see that air travel needs to pay tax. Also that the majority of airline passengers are on leisure journeys, on holiday or visiting friends and family. They are taking their money out of the UK, to spend abroad. This does not benefit the UK economy. Making flights even cheaper than they are now may help create jobs in other countries, but it reduces the number or jobs in the holiday and tourism industries in the UK, by encouraging people to go abroad instead. And comments mention that, due to complexities of international law, taxing aviation fuel is needlessly difficult, or just about impossible. Hence APD is charged, because airlines pay no fuel tax, and they also pay no VAT ].
A Fair Tax on Flying, an alliance of more than 30 airlines and tour operators, has launched a new website which it hopes will encourage at least 100,000 Britons to register their opposition to the tax.
Visitors to the website, www.afairtaxonflying.org , must enter their postcode, name and email address. A template email is then automatically sent to their MP expressing disapproval at the “unacceptable” level of APD paid by travellers flying from Britain.
According to the email, “only five European countries tax passengers when they fly overseas and UK rates are twice the level of the next most expensive tax (levied in Germany). A Fair Tax on Flying campaign has calculated that the Treasury collected more than twice as much in passenger taxes in 2011 than the all other European countries that levy a tax combined.”
It adds that: “Many other European countries, including Holland, Denmark and Belgium, have scrapped their APD because of the impact it was having on families and the wider economy. I ask that you write to the Chancellor to request that the Treasury undertakes research to determine the impact of APD on UK holidaymakers, employment and economic growth.”
Following the most recent rise in the tax, an eight per cent hike made in April, a family of four travelling to Europe must pay £52 in APD, while those flying farther afield are hit even harder. The cost of APD for a family of four flying to the United States or Egypt, for example, is £260; for those travelling to the Caribbean or South Africa, it is £324; and a family visiting Argentina or Australia must pay £368.
Those figures are doubled for those flying in premium-economy, business- or first-class cabins.
In 2005 APD was just £5 per person on European flights, and £20 per person on all other services, meaning it has risen by as much as 360 per cent in seven years, making British fliers the world’s most highly taxed.
Among the companies that have pledged their support to the Fair Tax on Flying campaign are British Airways, TUI Travel, Virgin Atlantic, the British Airline Pilots’ Association and the Airport Operators’ Association (AOA).
Darren Caplan, chief executive of the AOA, said: “With a double inflation APD rise now in place and further rises planned, it is imperative that the travelling public makes its voice heard in this important debate. We’re helping passengers to send a message to the Treasury loud and clear that APD is too high.”
Fair Tax on Flying launches major offensive
The travel industry is launching a major offensive today in its battle against Air Passenger Duty.
It is calling on 100,000 people to email their local MP to support its Fair Tax on Flying campaign.
The lobbying group, which comprises more than 30 airlines, airports, tour operators and trade bodies, has also unveiled a new website – www.afairtaxonflying.org.
A template text has been put on the website so all visitors need to do is enter their postcode and email address to submit the email.
“I urge everyone who believes the tax on flying is too high to do something about it: send the website link to your friends, Tweet about the campaign and together let”s spread the campaign far and wide to ensure as many people as possible support us in making our case to the Government,” said Simon Buck, chief executive of the British Air Transport Association (BATA).
Luke Pollard, ABTA head of public affairs, added: “Holiday-makers and business travellers can join the call for this study by lobbying their MP. Research done by other European countries swiftly resulted in their air tax being reduced or removed and we are confident that a report in the UK would show this tax is damaging to growth.”
In the last six years the Government has increased APD on short-haul flights in economy class by 160% and on economy “medium haul” flights by 220%.
New calculations by the Airport Operators Association (AOA) have found that a family flying from the UK in economy class now pays, on average, 3.75 times more in tax, than if they were making the trip from another country in Europe that levies an air passenger tax.
The campaign has already created a dedicated Facebook page www.facebook.com/afairtaxonflying to raise awareness of the tax and allow consumers to register their views. [People can indeed register their views, and though you can only “Like” rather than any form of “dislike”, you can comment and add some facts to their hype].
As one of your constituents I would like to express my opposition to the unacceptable level of the UK’s Air Passenger Duty (APD). Successive governments have increased this tax, with another large increase of 8% taking effect just this April. I am supporting A Fair Tax on Flying campaign (www.aFairTaxonFlying.org) because I believe this tax is now far too high.
Did you know that the UK now has the highest air passenger tax in the world? Only five European countries tax passengers when they fly overseas and UK rates are twice the level of the next most expensive tax (levied in Germany). A Fair Tax on Flying campaign has calculated that the Treasury collected more than twice as much in passenger taxes in 2011 than the all other European countries that levy a tax combined. To put that into context, a family of four flying in Economy class from the UK to the United States, for example, pays £260 in APD tax, whereas in France the equivalent tax is only £38. That’s a shocking difference. Why should I pay so much more than someone in France or any other country in Europe?
My interest isn’t just personal. Politicians on all sides talk about the importance of competitiveness, exports and inbound tourism to the economic recovery and growth. A tax on flying would appear to have an impact on all of the above yet ours is clearly internationally uncompetitive. Do you share my concern that APD might be hindering growth rather than supporting it?
Many other European countries, including Holland, Denmark and Belgium, have scrapped their APD because of the impact it was having on families and the wider economy. I ask that you write to the Chancellor to request that the Treasury undertakes research to determine the impact of APD on UK holidaymakers, employment and economic growth.