Labour proposals for a new charge on overseas visitors
November 18th, 2014
Responding to the news that a Labour Government would introduce a new charge on visitors from countries that are not required to obtain a visa to enter the UK in order to fund 1,000 additional Border Force staff, Nathan Stower, Chief Executive of the British Air Transport Association (BATA), said:
“While we welcome the desire to improve the customer experience for passengers arriving at the UK border, airlines have significant concerns about this proposal.
“Visitors from countries like the USA and Australia already pay the highest air passenger tax in the world to fly to the UK – £71 from next April – contributing billions of pounds to the Treasury. Adding yet another charge will make the UK more uncompetitive in attracting tourists, businesses and inbound investment.
“It is not clear how this proposed charge would be collected. The vast majority of visitors from those countries that are not required to obtain a visa to enter the UK, such as the USA, do not currently provide information to UK authorities ahead of their visit. Furthermore, if more money were to be raised from airline passengers alone, it would only fair for this to fund improvements in the border at airports and not at other ports of entry such as Calais.”
18th November 2014