ABTA has released the following statement:

ABTA is calling on families to write to their MPs and sign up to an online petition to stop the Government increasing the already heavy tax burden on families as they head off for their well earned summer holidays.

From 1 November 2009 the Government is intending to raise Air Passenger Duty so that a family of four flying to Florida will pay £180 in tax and £240 next year when the aviation poll tax is set to rise again.

The UK Government is the only one in the world to tax air passengers in this way and these rises will hit families particularly hard as they struggle with the impact of the recession. Other destinations popular with families will be even harder hit with the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean destinations seeing the same family of four having their bill increase to £200 from 1/9/09 and £300 a year later.

Worst of all, our nuclear family heading down under to Australia and New Zealand to see loved ones will shell out £220 this year and £300 in 2010. For those paying out for a little extra leg room in premium economy these tax increases will all double, taking this service, introduced to allow a bit more comfort at an affordable price, out of the range of many travellers.

Mark Tanzer ABTA Chief Executive said: “One of the great successes of the travel industry has been that we have made it possible for families on a budget to head overseas for holidays or to visit loved ones. These steep rises in taxation at a time when families are already feeling the pinch will only help to take us back to the days when only the well off could afford to fly”

The 10 Downing Street online petition calling on the Government to stop these unfair tax hikes can be accessed from http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/APDIncrease/ or www.abta.com Air Passenger Duty increases from 1/11/09 and 1/11/10

Four geographical bands will come into effect based on the distance from London to the capital city of the country concerned (with the exception of the Russian Federation which is split east and west of the Urals).

For further information go to: www.abta.com

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