Air Passenger Duty Consultation: Flight Tax ‘Costs UK 25,000 Jobs’

June 16th, 2011

Flight Tax Costs UK 25,000 Jobs

Simon Buck, Chief Executive of BATA said:

“Britain has the highest taxes on flying in the world with a family of four paying at least £240 in tax on a sunshine holiday to Florida for example. Next April, the Chancellor is planning to increase these rates even further – by twice the rate of inflation. The tax is due to raise more from air passengers than the tax on the banks over the next five years.

Not only is this extortionate rate of tax punishing families, it also makes Britain a less attractive place to do business or for foreign tourists to visit. Tourism is Britain’s third largest export earner and is worth over £90billion to the UK economy each year. Around 75% of tourists visit Britain by air but this Government seems oblivious to the damage the high tax is causing.

The numbers of passengers travelling through Britain‟s airports is at its lowest level for 7 years. This is why we are today calling for the tax on flying to be scrapped. A number of other European countries, such as Ireland and Holland, are doing similarly and have either scrapped or are scrapping their taxes on flying because they recognise the damage such taxes have on tourism in their countries. Without the drag of the highest taxes on flying in the world, the UK would enjoy a much needed boost in tourist numbers that would help kick start the faltering British economy and ultimately prove far more beneficial for British jobs and investment than would a blunt tax on flying. If the tax was scrapped, UK tourism earnings would be boosted by over £1 billion per year and 25,000 jobs would be created.”