The Chancellor’s decision to avoid any mention of aviation in today’s budget and press ahead with his planned 01 April increase in Air Passenger Duty (APD) will stifle growth in the UK’s vital aviation industry according to the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK).
Dale Keller, chief executive, said “Just because the industry was fully expecting a slap in the face from the Treasury does not make it any more palatable. It’s beyond belief that the Chancellor has put beer before aviation. We have listened to much talk from the Government about the UK being in a global economic race and the importance for the UK to become more competitive, yet airlines, amongst the most global of businesses; continue to be hammered by the highest aviation tax in the world. The Government has built a veritable ‘wall of tax’ around the UK which international travellers and airlines are increasingly overflying.
“The Government is seriously undermining its own £30 million investment in the ‘Britain is Great’ campaign by forcing airlines to collect extortionate taxes from overseas passengers who see it as a form of entrapment to pay off the UK’s deficit. The UK needs to shake off the welcome mat and entice more visitors in order to reap the far greater economic benefits according to the numerous reports and expert opinions presented to Treasury.
“BAR UK will continue its engagement with the Government until proper joined up thinking between the Treasury and other departments on delivering a competitive UK aviation policy is finally achieved.”