MPs form new group to tackle air passenger duty
By Andy Hoskins, published 15/2/2019
MPs from across the political spectrum have joined forces to form a new group and campaign for cuts to Air Passenger Duty (APD).
The new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on APD Reform will urge the UK government "to cut the UK’s Air Passenger Duty rate, thereby allowing the UK to compete on a level playing field with our European counterparts, boosting tourism, trade, jobs and growth."
The group was formed in response to the Chancellor’s decision in the Budget to further increase long-haul APD in line with inflation, which follows a rate rise from April 1 of £16 on premium economy flights to long-haul destinations.
Currently, the UK’s APD rate is the highest tax of its kind in the world and more than double that of trading rival Germany. It adds £78 to an economy ticket and £156 to a business class ticket.
Chair of the new group, Henry Smith MP - who has Gatwick Airport located in his constituency – says: “As the UK leaves the European Union and looks to forge a new identity for ourselves in the world as a global nation, it is critical we have a tax system that reflects that ambition.
“A significant reduction in the UK’s APD rate would signal to the world that the UK is open for business.”
A spokesperson for the A Fair Tax on Flying Campaign adds: “A cut in APD is long overdue and many MPs across parliament recognise that reducing APD would significantly boost the connectivity of UK airports and dramatically improve the competitiveness of UK airline routes relative to European alternatives, while at the same time tackling this additional tax burden on holidaymakers and business travellers. “