A Fair Tax on Flying campaign

8th July 2013

A new campaign designed to win the support of businesses for reform of the UK's Air Passenger Duty, and backed by SCCI and other regional chambers.

The initiative developed by A Fair Tax on Flying campaign is targeting businesses that are affected by the UK's Air Passenger Duty the highest air tax of its kind in the world. The campaign - hosted at www.afairtaxonflying.org/business - hopes to win the support of thousands of British and overseas businesses and plans to take a petition hosted on the site to the Treasury later this year to demonstrate the widespread concern among businesses about the tax. Earlier this year APD increased again after a double-inflation rise in 2012. The Treasury plans further rises over the next two years and campaign organisers say that the annual rises will place the UK at an increasing competitive disadvantage internationally. Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association, said the -Year-on-year rises in APD are fundamentally damaging the UK's competitiveness with our European counterparts 21 out of 27 EU countries pay no APD at all. It's now time for UK businesses to stand up and be counted, as our eye-wateringly high levels of APD already mean UK businesses pay the highest passenger tax on flying in the world and this is not disputed by anyone in Government. The campaign is launched just months after compelling new research was published by PwC outlining the benefits to the UK economy were APD to be reduced or abolished. In their report, The economic impact of Air Passenger Duty, PwC used a "dynamic" approach to modelling tax impacts that is also used by the IMF, the World Bank and some national governments. Applied for the first time to APD, the modelling found that there are significant benefits of both reducing and abolishing APD, claiming that abolition could boost UK GDP by 0.46 per cent in the first year, with continuing benefits to 2020. Simon Buck, Chief Executive of the British Air Transport Association, said: -In light of the UK's sluggish economic recovery the Government should be searching for new ways to boost growth and one of these ways would be to cut APD, not increase it yet further. According to PwC's detailed economic analysis, abolishing APD would provide an immediate and lasting boost to economic growth and, crucially, not cost the Exchequer a penny. The campaign launch comes shortly after A Fair Tax on Flying announced that 16 Chambers of Commerce including SCCI have now added their support to the campaign following the APD rises in this year's Budget. The campaign site displays a real-time map of where support from the UK is coming from on a map hosted on the site. SCCI is encouraging members from the region to back the campaign to ensure that MPs in the region are made aware of the damage this tax is doing. Campaigners are also asking supporters to add their names to a letter to their local MP and the Chancellor which campaign organisers plan to send later in the summer. Each year it is estimated that British businesses pay £500m in Air Passenger Duty (APD) to the Exchequer with a further £500m levied on foreign travellers who come to the UK to do business. Last year over 200,000 people lobbied their MP about APD making it the largest correspondence campaign of this Parliament after A Fair Tax on Flying launched a consumer-focussed campaign. We urge members to visit and sign up to afairtaxonflying.org/business

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