The vast majority of people in the UK support a reform of Air Passenger Duty (APD), according to a representative YouGov survey published today. The opinion poll was commissioned by easyJet, the UK’s largest airline in the run up to the forthcoming increase in APD on 1 November.
The tax has been widely criticised for exempting private jets, cargo aircraft and foreign passengers changing planes as well as for under-taxing long-haul passengers. From an environmental perspective APD gives a perverse incentive – full planes pay the highest tax whilst empty ones pay no tax at all.
The analysis shows that 80% of the population agree that all flights, including cargo and private jets, should be taxed, while 69% said the tax ought to be designed to tackle climate change. In addition, almost two thirds of those questioned (65%) agreed that Air Passenger Duty should also cover foreign transfer passengers.
Andy Harrison, easyJet Chief Executive, said:
“Air Passenger Duty is a daft tax that the Government promised to reform. It broke its promise and increased the tax burden on the average family instead.
People don’t understand why their tax is going up again while pampered fat cats on private jets, cargo planes and foreign transfer passengers still don’t pay any tax at all. How can the Government justify a tax break for 20 million foreign transfer passengers while charging a British family of four ?44 to go to Europe?
We need to make air tax greener and fairer now. It should be reformed from a poll tax into a flight tax that taxes emissions, not families.”