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Travel industry news

18 Sep 2017

BY Edward Robertson


British business travellers unfairly hit by APD, research finds

Business travellers are suffering from paying £400 million in additional tax each year thanks to higher levels of Air Passenger Duty (APD).

Gatwick Airport Picture.jpg

The tax is forcing up the cost of the business in the UK

Research released by the A Fair Tax on Flying campaign shows that this is more than £325 million more than travellers from Italy and France face, more than £275 than those in Germany and more than £450 compared to the Republic of Ireland.


Overall, it is £400 million more than in the average rate paid by European business travellers.


Campaign spokesperson Karen Dee urged the government to consider cutting the tax which is the highest in Europe.


She said: “If the Chancellor wants to signal that Britain is truly ‘open for Business’ as Brexit looms, what better way than cutting this tax on trade by at least 50% to bring us in line with the next highest of our European trading rivals, Germany.


“At present, UK APD is among the highest tax of its kind anywhere in the world and is the highest in the EU by a significant margin.


“It puts the UK economy at a severe competitive disadvantage in the very markets we need to trade with post Brexit when compared to our European neighbours.


“No matter which EU country you compare us to, the result is the same, UK businesses are being unfairly punished.


“This tax on trade hits British business flyers heading out to secure the increased trade we need as Brexit gets ever closer and hits visiting overseas business flyers on their return homeward journey, many of whom will be investing in our economy.


“High levels of APD also act as a brake on airlines developing new routes to the very markets UK businesses need to reach.


“A cut of at least 50% will reduce the tax burden on UK businesses seeking to maintain and expand new markets overseas, allow our businesses to compete on a level playing field and make the UK more attractive to businesses wishing to visit and invest here.”


She also argued that cutting the tax would also give a boost to the leisure market, adding: “Whilst this analysis highlights how our high levels of APD are hitting business travel and our ability to grow trade, it is also affecting the cost of leisure trips and holidays.


“A decisive APD cut will have the added benefit of reducing the cost of family holidays, other leisure travel and supporting tourism to the UK.”

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