Air passengers flying out of Britain could face another hike in Air Passenger Duty in next week’s budget, according to a leaked report.
The British government is planning its fourth APD hike in three years, according to the Evening Standard. It is also planning a new tax on private jets as it grapples to raise money to plug the country’s budget deficit.
The move would come despite strong objections from airlines and senior travel industry figures to cut APD.
Earlier this month some 25 industry figures united to call for a reform in the tax, with the Fair Tax on Flying campaign, coordinated by ABTA, and with the support of the likes of British Airways and easyJet.
In a letter to the Chancellor, the campaign said any increase in APD will “incentivise the strengthening of alternative hubs to the UK both in and outside Europe and reduce the number of connections and destinations served by UK airports.”
A BA spokesman said he was “very disappointed” by the Government’s plans, adding: “We feel that we are overtaxed already.”
British tourists already pay the highest travel taxes in Europe. A family of four pays £240 duty to fly to Florida, or £340 to Australia. However, an Irish family would pay £11 in tax to fly to the same countries, and the French would pay £15.
Although the travel levy was initially presented as an environmental measure, aircraft with a take-off weight under 10 tonnes or fewer than 20 passenger seats are currently exempt.
The Government wants to close that loophole to raise millions more in revenues.