The GTMC, the UK’s leading professional industry body representing travel management companies, has put its weight behind a new business focused ‘A Fair Tax on Flying’ campaign launched this week. The campaign is designed to ensure Air Passenger Duty (APD) remains high profile as a damaging tax to exports and to put pressure on the government to recognise the damage being caused to British businesses by this aviation tax and take action to rectify.
The campaign will call on the Government to look again at APD and ensure the UK is competitive with rival economies. Previously the ‘Fair Tax on Flying’ emphasis has been on using leisure travellers to protest about the high level of APD by emailing their MPS; 200,000 have done so and 100 MPs back a treasury review into the tax. In this new phase businesses are now being urged to register their support for the campaign on www.afairtaxonflying.org. As companies are listed their location will be tracked and added to a letter to the relevant constituency MP calling for their support of the campaign aims.
The forty GTMC members, who between them have a UK turnover of £7 billion and account for some 80% of business travel spend in the UK, including the sale of over 6 million airline tickets each year, will be putting their strength behind the petition and in turn encouraging their clients to do the same.
GTMC chief executive Paul Wait said: “As the voice of the business traveller the GTMC is wholly supportive of ‘A Fair Tax on Flying’. Our members are all too aware of how much of a burden APD is to those companies travelling to “to do the deals” that stimulate jobs and growth in the UK. It is vital that the perspective of business is heard in Westminster and that Government charts a course that removes self-imposed barriers to trade.”
Since his appointment in January 2013 Paul Wait has had a mantra ‘business travel is an investment not a cost’ and has been vocal with his message that exports and therefore the business travel required to conduct this business, is a driver of economic growth and APD is causing an economic barrier for business travel.
In May 2013 the GTMC published its Quarterly Review, which analyses indicators of activity from the GTMC members, including business travel transactions and revenue, and tracks them against a range of economic indicators relating to UK plc, such as changes in GDP, corporate profitability and the level of UK exports. The Review gave clear evidence that business travel and business growth are intricately linked.