Government under pressure to cut 8% air passenger tax

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

A whopping 100,000 people have contacted their MPs complaining about the hike in air passenger tax which took place earlier this year.

prepaid cardsThe tax, which rose by 8% this year, sees families paying £92 on average for a flight to Europe. The increase means that the UK now has the most expensive air passenger tax in the world.

The hike is threatening to further damage the already-fragile economy via a negative impact on industry and finances.

The government is under increasing pressure to reduce air passenger duty (APD) after 100,000 people complained via their MPs that the tax is unacceptable.

A number of MPs have also voiced their concern, with 75 adding their signatures to an Early Day Motion which calls for more research into the tax by the Treasury.

Brian Donohoe MP, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Aviation, said: “For 100,000 people to have written to MPs to make their voice heard is an astonishing show of opposition to the current levels of Air Passenger Duty and concern about the impact they are having on both ordinary families and on the economy.

“I trust the Chancellor takes notice of public opinion and commissions an independent study to look at how APD is damaging the UK economy,” he added.

This year’s rise in APD will set passengers back by about £600 million this summer, according to Virgin Atlantic.

For a family of four flying to Egypt or the US, APD will cost them £260, while those jetting off to the Caribbean will be charged £324. Taxes soar to £368 on flights to Australia.

Unsurprisingly, the tax is discouraging both UK holidaymakers hoping to spend some time abroad, and foreign travellers wanting to visit Britain. This is according to the Fair Tax on Flying campaign, which is run by more than 30 airlines and tour operators.

When APD was introduced in 1994, it cost just £5 to travel within the UK and EU and £10 elsewhere. Now deemed “one of the most hated stealth taxes in the UK” by chief executive of the Airport Operators Association Darren Caplan, APD has risen by 360% over the past seven years.

Wherever you are flying this summer, a prepaid card could be a sensible option if you are looking to keep control of your finances.

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