In anticipation of next month’s budget, the Airport Operators Association (AOA) is urging the Government to consider the detrimental effects it has on the UK aviation industry.
The AOA is calling for the Chancellor, George Osborne, to reduce England’s tax by half, which is one of the world’s highest aviation taxes.
Speaking about the controversial tax, the AOA’s Chief Executive, Darren Caplan, said, “Despite recent changes on longest-haul APD rates and the exemption for children, the UK still has the highest APD rates in the world. With the Budget due next month, we urge the government to take this opportunity to reduce APD by at least half. Doing so would result in more people travelling, more jobs, more business and higher tax revenues for the Treasury from the increased economic activity.”
The Scottish Government is to cut their APD by 50%, before George Osborne is expected to confirm the devolution of APD in Scotland; he is also expected confirm devolution plans in Wales too. Yet nothing is in place for even a reduction, let alone devolution in England. In the meantime, the Welsh Government is planning to scrap APD completely.
Mr Caplan, added, “The Scottish Government has been clear for some time that it plans to reduce APD by 50% from 2018, with a view to abolishing the tax altogether. The Treasury should be in no doubt that this reduction will take place and it needs to provide clarity to the industry as to how it intends to react to ensure airports in all parts of the country are not adversely impacted. The prime minister was quite clear during the 2015 General Election campaign that he would not allow unfair tax competition to damage UK airports.
We need to see him honour this commitment. A reduction in APD in Scotland should be matched by the equivalent cut everywhere so no part of the country is disadvantaged. Whatever policy response the government settles on, it needs to publish this very soon so the industry can start planning. This cannot be allowed to drag on.”