With only days to go until the Budget, airlines are fast losing confidence that the Chancellor will announce a tax regime which will boost jobs and growth according to the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK).
Dale Keller, chief executive, said “As the UK fights off challengers to its position as the world’s leading aviation hub, airlines have become alarmed by the apparent lack of Treasury understanding that Air Passenger Duty (APD) is a fundamental component of aviation policy. The Chancellor wants a connected economy that’s on the move and aviation is absolutely central to achieving this.
“Yet the Government seems single-minded in its desire to clip the wings of an industry that continues to be one of our remaining success stories and which funds its own infrastructure. Does the UK really need, or deserve, the highest aviation tax in the world by a considerable margin? Perhaps airlines have been so successful in delivering an efficient and more sophisticated travelling experience that the Chancellor’s perception is that of an industry generating fat margins and huge profits. The real problem is that APD started out as a small tax with supposed environmental credentials but has grown into a monster that is more ‘user pays twice’ than ‘user pays’. It’s time to end this nonsense.
“It cannot be right that the Treasury and Government can continue to dismiss over 200,000 emails to MP’s, 12,000 emails to cabinet ministers, continued calls for a Treasury economic impact review, compelling new evidence in a PricewaterhouseCoopers report based on the Treasury’s own modelling and expert input from ‘A Fair Tax on Flying’ and virtually every trade association and industry analyst.
“BAR UK urges the Chancellor to do the right thing for the country and kick start the economy in this Budget by reducing or scrapping this stifling and ineffective tax.”