Six in Ten (61%) Conservative MPs believe a reduction in Air Passenger Duty (APD) should be considered to stimulate growth according to a new survey published today by ABTA - The Travel Association, also a member of A Fair Tax on Flying campaign. It comes as over 250k emails have been sent to MPs from UK residents and foreign travellers asking for a review of the impacts of APD on UK jobs and growth and 96 MPs have signed an EDM calling for such a review.
The ComRes survey of more than 150 MPs shows that half (49%) of MPs believe that current rates of APD are putting UK businesses at a competitive disadvantage, while two in five MPs (40%) firmly believe they are damaging the UK’s position as a hub for global air travel. Additionally, over half (51%) of MPs believe that a reduction in APD should be considered as a way to increase the international competitiveness of the UK economy, therefore encouraging growth.
Conservative MPs feel strongest about APD
The research indicates that Conservative MPs are most likely to believe that the current rates of APD are damaging to the economy. A majority 61% of Conservative MPs believe that a reduction in APD should be considered as a way to increase the UK’s competitiveness and 57% believe that APD is damaging the UK’s position as a global air travel hub. The figures suggest that the Conservative backbench is keen to see the Chancellor implement policies that will encourage growth.
The research was conducted in the early summer, before the 250,000 emails had been sent to MPs so it is possible that a re-poll would show even higher numbers believing that APD is damaging to the economy.
Mark Tanzer, CEO ABTA – The Travel Association said: “At a time when we are facing one of the toughest ever downturns in history, the Government must take every measure to get the country back on track to growth. The very fact that half of MPs believe current rates of APD are damaging the economy is a clear indication we need a review into the impacts of this tax before it does any further damage. Other governments, such as the Dutch, abolished the tax after a review found that the revenue raised was outweighed by the revenue lost. This summer has also shown there is overwhelming public support for a review so now the Government is back from recess we call on them to listen and act.”