A campaign to persuade the Chancellor to drop planned hikes in the tax levied on all flights leaving the UK has been launched at airports across the country as a newly released poll reveals that three out of four people think that Air Passenger Duty (APD) should not go up in the next Budget.

Of those saying APD should not go up 49% said APD should be reduced and 6% said it should be increased. The Chancellor announced in this year’s Budget that APD will rise by double inflation next year.

Passengers travelling through airports will be leafleted by staff wearing ‘Hands off our Holiday, Mr Taxman’ T-shirts and are being urged to tell their MPs to say ‘Hands off our holiday’ to the Chancellor. The campaign, backed by the Airport Operators Association (AOA), Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR-UK), and the British Air Transport Association (BATA) is urging people to email their MP via the website www.handsoffourholiday.com and to tweet their support for the hikes to be abandoned using the hashtag #handsoffourhols.

The poll, carried out by Opinium Research for the Hands off our Holiday campaign also shows that nearly four out of five people were unaware of the plans to further increase the tax by double inflation. Darren Caplan, chief executive of the AOA, said: “Our message to the Chancellor is that enough is enough. Air Passenger Duty has already gone up by 325% on long-haul flights and 140% on short-haul flights in the last five years. Family finances are under great pressure at the moment and most people save hard all year for their holiday. Working families deserve a break.”

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