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Published on Monday, June 25, 2012

APD campaign fights for research into 'damaging' tax



The Fair Tax on Flying campaign has hit back at MPs who claim Air Passenger Duty is helping to reduce Britain’s debt by asking for research into the damage it causes.


MPs have responded to some of the 2,500 letters against the tax by claiming it is important in reducing the nation’s deficit.


But Luke Polland, head of public affairs at ABTA said the very purpose of the campaign is to encourage the Treasury to research how damaging APD is.


He said: "We're pleased with the initial progress. More than 2,500 people have contacted their MP which is a great start in just over four days. But there is still a long way to go, we want to reach all MPs up and down the country.


"We understand the points raised by some MPs about the structural budget deficit in their responses to constituents, however, the very purpose of the campaign is to encourage the Treasury to undertake research to establish just how damaging APD is.


"There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that APD costs the UK economy more than it raises - which is clearly bad for reducing the deficit."


Since the launch of the Fair Tax on Flying group last week, more than 2,500 people have written to their MPs and 28 MPs have pledged their support.


Some MPs have replied to the campaign with a standard letter.


It said: "The Government inherited the highest structural budget deficit of any major economy in the world and the highest deficit in our peacetime history.


"APD makes an important contribution to reducing the nation’s deficit and this must be taken into account.


"Last year the Government launched a consultation on APD to improve the fairness and efficiency of the current system. Ministers recognise the importance of the aviation industry which is why the Budget in 2011 announced APD would be frozen for 2011-12 and the rise would take place this April instead."


The Fair Tax on Flying campaign hopes to persuade 100,000 people to support its battle against APD by sending an email to register their protest.


The lobbying group, which comprises more than 30 airlines, airports, tour operators and trade bodies, has unveiled a new website - www.afairtaxonflying.org, see previous story.


The Scottish Passenger Shipping Association has also reinforced its support urging all air travellers in Scotland - leisure of business - to get behind the campaign.


Although the Government seems committed to an increase in APD, it is considering regional variations on APD levels.


By Diane Evans


 

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