ABTA has welcomed George Osborne’s move to examine aviation taxes more closely, but is disappointed that the November increases in Air Passenger Duty will still go ahead meaning that the revenue will increase from £1.9 bn this year to £3.8 bn in 2015-16.Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “It is now up to us to make sure we brief and have full and detailed discussions with Government Ministers and civil servants before George Osborne reports back in the autumn.
“While we broadly welcome the proposed switch from Air Passenger Duty to per plane duty, it is essential that the levels and the mechanisms are set correctly so that ordinary people are not taxed out of flying. We have already held a meeting with Justine Greening - the Treasury Minister taking the lead on aviation taxes – and we will ensure that we continue to meet with her team to fully brief them on our sector.
“Travel matters to our economy – aviation contributes more than £11 billion in GDP, to jobs – 700,000 British jobs depend on aviation - and the welfare of hardworking people – nearly 40 million holidays were taken abroad in 2009 by British citizens. If George Osborne wants everyone to know that the ‘UK is open for business’ – then it must be affordable for people to get here and depart.
“Tax on aviation – through Air Passenger Duty – in this country has risen disproportionately over the past five years. We all know that George Osborne has to balance the books, but to maximise the tax take on aviation, they must set it at a level where people can still afford to fly - not tax people out of the skies. ABTA has always stated that there should be a fair tax take for aviation, and while we broadly welcome the move to a per plane tax – this system will incentivise airlines to fly more efficiently with full passenger loads - the level of the new tax is crucially important.
“While leisure travellers are particularly price sensitive, higher aviation duty also has the potential to have a very detrimental effect on inbound tourism to the UK.
Furnished Holiday Lettings Mark Tanzer also said: “We welcome the fact that Government listened to ABTA’s arguments on furnished holiday lettings and the decision not to implement the repeal of the special tax rules for furnished holiday lettings and will respond to the consultation due to be published in the summer.”