Protestors Increase Anti APD Campaign

The Government stands firm on its decision to keep the profit making Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax.

However, anti-APD campaigners continue to barrage MPs about the damaging effects it is having on the UK’s economy and aviation industry.

APD, infamously referred to as the ‘air congestion tax’, is here to stay, so it seems, as the UK struggles to copy with finding extra air space.

Leading anti-APD campaigners, A Fair Tax on Flying, now look to put additional pressure on the Government following the expansion of Lilian Greenwood’s role as Labour front bencher, which sees her brief now include aviation. The Fair Tax On Flying group says the move gives substantial time to step up the pressure on the Opposition between now and the General Election in 2015.

The British APD is around 30 times higher than similar taxes charged across the world. As a result, the UK Government brings in £2.3 billion a year in revenue generated from APD. And by 2015 this is set to rise to a staggering £3.8 billion.

Aviation, travel and business heads, both in the UK and internationally, believe the UK will ultimately lose out on vital business due to the tax, along with losing major aviation business to competitor European hubs. Business that cannot afford to be lost, especially as the aviation and travel industry is one of the largest contributors to the UK economy, contributing around £20.6 billion a year!

The gradual rise in APD has certainly had an effect on the amount of long haul traffic out of the UK – in the last two years long haul travel has witnessed a dramatic decline as the expensive APD add-on to holiday prices puts long haul destinations off the map for many.

As a result of the affect APD is having on long haul travel, more than 50 tourist board wrote to the Government saying that further rises in APD would have “serious consequences” for them – in particular Caribbean countries, such as the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic, where this year numbers have declined rapidly.

So much so, Barbados is launching a ‘free spending money’ campaign in a bid to draw UK holiday makers back to the country as they see their tourism industry decline, potentially have devastating effects to their economy.

A rapid rise in short haul destinations, with more affordable APD charges apply, has been seen, with Spanish destinations topping the popularity stakes from nearly all UK airports this year.

The Government is set on increasing APD each year. If you would like to voice your concerns over APD then you can lobby your local MP. Alternatively join the Fair Tax On Flying campaign.

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