With the Chancellor expected to announce a further hike in Air Passenger Duty (APD) this Wednesday, a new ABTA survey¹ reveals today that almost two thirds of the public [64%] think that the current levels of APD are already set too high. Only one in five [19%] think that current levels are set at about the right level and a tiny 4%, think that UK flyers do not pay enough tax. The findings show there is clearly very little support or appetite from the public for current government policy on aviation tax, which is set at the highest in levels the world.
The research findings also suggest that APD is doing more damage to the economy than good. Almost half the public [47%] believe that APD puts the UK economy at a disadvantage with only one in ten [14%] believing it does not. Additionally, high rates of APD are making people consider flying from competitive airports in Europe, where air taxes have been abolished or cut, with a third [31%] saying they would consider this as an option.
Opposition to high APD rates grows steadily with age, suggesting that more experienced travellers are more aware of the tax. Half of 15-24 year olds [47%] think it is too high, increasing to seven in ten [70%] of those over 65. Women are also less keen on the tax with seven out of ten [69%] thinking it is too high compared to six out of ten men [58%].
ABTA is one of the leading members of the Fair Tax on Flying campaign (www.afairtaxonflying.org), which is calling on the Government to commission an independent report into the economic impact of APD on the UK economy. This has already been supported by over 200,000 e-mail letters sent to MPs by UK residents and a further 100,000 emails from overseas visitors to the UK.
Mark Tanzer ABTA Chief Executive said: “Despite the clear calls from the public and businesses, the Government is still refusing to commission an independent review into APD. This week I met Sajid Javid MP, the Minister responsible for APD, and it is evident that the Treasury is still to be convinced of the merits of this approach. With another rise in APD expected to be announced tomorrow it’s vital that businesses and consumers continue to maintain the pressure on the Government to freeze APD until they have conducted a proper, independent analysis on the impacts of this tax on the economy.”