A campaign to persuade the government to drop a planned rise in air passenger duty (APD) began today at airports, with campaigners handing leaflets to passengers declaring ‘Hands off our holiday, Mr Taxman’.
Passengers at Gatwick, Luton, London City, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bristol, Belfast International and Newquay were targeted by airport staff wearing T-shirts sporting the logo.
Chancellor George Osborne froze APD in the Budget in March, but plans a substantial rise next April to compensate.
The campaign group released poll findings suggesting three out of four people oppose a rise in APD next year, and of these almost half said the tax should be cut. The poll suggests only 6% of the population support an increase.
The ‘Hands off our holiday’ campaign is backed by the Airport Operators Association (AOA), Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR-UK) and British Air Transport Association (BATA). It is urging people to email their MP via the website.
BAR-UK chief executive Mike Carrivick said: The UK already has the highest rate of flight tax in the world. Why should families be discriminated against for wanting to fly on a break?”
Simon Buck, chief executive of BATA, added: “The government takes nearly £3 billion in tax from passengers – more than the tax on the banking industry. It should drop the hikes planned next year.”
BAR-UK represents scheduled airlines in the UK and BATA the 11 UK-registered carriers, including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, easyJet, Thomas Cook, Thomson Airways and Monarch. All except easyJet are members of the Abta-led Fair Tax on Flying coalition, as is the AOA and BAR-UK.
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