WWF welcomes the Government’s decision to increase Air Passenger Duty (APD) as of 1st November 2010 as “necessary” and “realistic” and would like to see aviation taxed in line with other industries.
Jean Leston, Transport Policy Officer, WWF-UK said:
“The aviation industry is under-taxed in comparison with most other goods and services. And in times of austerity and tax rises, aviation cannot be exempt from helping to reduce the deficit. Further reform of aviation taxation needs to be considered alongside Government plans, announced this week, to review aviation policy.
“If aviation were taxed at the same rate as road transport, it would net the Exchequer around an extra £10 billion each year. Even with increased rates of APD, the tax charge on air travel remains cheaper than by road. For example, fuel duty and VAT on petrol is £25 for a car driving from London to Newquay in Cornwall. But APD is only £12, an increase of £1 from the previous year, for flying to the same destination. APD also has a potential to bring in additional revenue of £400 million next year.”
The APD increases from last year’s rates will be most pronounced for business class flights - yet another reason for companies to review their travel policy. WWF is calling on companies to consider their need to travel and look to lower-carbon alternatives, such as videocondering or high-speed rail where possible.
WWF welcomes the announcement made by Philip Hammond earlier this week that there would be a review of aviation policy starting in 2011. This is also the ideal time to reconsider the basis for aviation taxation. The Government has previously stated its intention to replace APD with a per plane duty. WWF also supports the principle of a per plane duty because it encourages airlines to fill their planes and use more efficient aircraft, as well as bringing cargo planes and private jets into the tax net, which are currently exempt from APD.