The campaign demanding a review of Air Passenger Duty has welcomed six new members as it nears its target to get 100,000 people to back it during this summer.
A Fair Tax on Flying’s new supporters include Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Definitive Caribbean, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Multicom, Newmont Travel and Wales Air Forum.
Last week the campaign announced it had encouraged 85,000 members of the public to email their MP about what it believes is the damaging level of APD to the UK economy.
With six weeks to go before the campaign deadline, organisers are confident of hitting the 100,000 target.
A Fair Tax on Flying was given a significant boost at the start of the summer when Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson threw his weight behind it.
A parliamentary Early Day Motion has now been signed by 75 MPs including former Liberal Democrat leaders Sir Menzies Campbell MP and Charles Kennedy MP, as well as Conservative 1922 Committee Chairman, Graham Brady MP.
The campaign is calling for a major Treasury review into the impact of Air Passenger Duty on the UK economy.
Jerry Blackett, chief executive of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group, said: “The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group is wholeheartedly behind the campaign for A Fair Tax on Flying.
“Perversely the markets that we need to be exporting to: China, India, Brazil and Mexico for example, incur some of the highest levels of APD. If we are serious about an export-led recovery then we need to ensure our aviation taxes are competitive and fair.”
Chris Fletcher, policy director and deputy chief executive of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said:
“Exporters from the North West are currently out-performing their non-exporting competitors and keeping the economy growing – we don’t want the impact of APD to damage exporting in the region.”
Simon Buck, Chief Executive of the British Air Transport Association, said: “It is great news to see more supporters joining the campaign.
“It is now clear that we are drawing support from businesses across all regions of the UK as well as the tourism industry. It is time for the Chancellor to listen to what we are saying.”
Lindsay Ingram, general manager of Newmont Travel, said: “While the Caribbean has come off badly in the APD structure the tax is now having a dramatic impact on the UK’s economy.
“If the government wants to use travel to bring in more taxation, they need to encourage more travel rather than stifle it. We are delighted to join a cohesive force to bring fairness and justice to this issue.”
John Howell, managing director of Multicom, said: “I am delighted that Multicom is now a member of the A Fair Tax on Flying campaign and look forward to working with like minded colleagues to continue to put pressure on the government to rethink its current stance.”
Feona Gray, co-founder of The Definitive Caribbean Guide, said: “As the Caribbean’s leading resource for news and information affecting the entire region, it was only natural for Definitive Caribbean to get involved in the campaign behind A Fair Tax on Flying.
“I urge everyone who hasn’t already to please join the campaign so we can achieve the 100,000 mark and even go beyond it.”
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