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MP backs new flight tax campaign

3th October 2012
MP backs new flight tax campaign

Gordon Henderson MP today backed a major new campaign opposing the current levels of Air Passenger Duty (APD), and called on the Treasury to undertake more research to determine the impact of APD on UK holidaymakers, employment and economic growth. It follows a groundswell of support for the issue after Mr Henderson received 264 emails from constituents about the cost of APD.

The UK is one of six countries in Europe to levy an air passenger tax. It costs a family flying from the UK in economy class nearly 400% more in tax, on average, than if they were making an equivalent trip from another country in Europe that levies an air passenger tax.

Mr Henderson has also backed a parliamentary motion (Early Day Motion 174) which says that MPs are “concerned" about the level of APD and its “financial impact on ordinary families and their ability to fly”. The motion calls on the Treasury “to commission a comprehensive study into the full economic effects of aviation tax in the UK, including its impact on employment, reporting in advance of the 2013 Budget.” To date 97 MPs have added their name to the motion.

Mr Henderson said: “Following an 8% rise in Air Passenger Duty at the last Budget, a family of four flying to Florida this summer will pay £260 in APD alone. This is why I am concerned that this tax is having an impact on the ability of normal people to fly abroad on their annual holiday. I am also concerned that it is having a damaging impact on jobs and growth because it acts as a disincentive for tourists to visit Britain and so I will continue to lobby the Chancellor to stop any further increases.”

The campaign has already won the backing of nearly 200,000 people throughout the UK in just 12 weeks, all of whom have sent an email to their local MP. Spokesman for A Fair Tax on Flying campaign, Luke Pollard (and Head of Public Affairs at ABTA – the Travel Association), said: “We are delighted that MP Gordon Henderson is backing this campaign. Higher and higher air passenger taxes make well-earned holidays more expensive and British goods and services more costly than our competitors.”

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