The UK is being urged to rethink Air Passenger Duty after the Irish government agreed to abolish its €3 air passenger tax from April 2014.
The call to Westmintser policymakers came today from industry lobby group A Fair Tax on Flying.
Abta head of public affairs Stephen D’Alfonso said: “The fact that the Irish government has abolished what was an already very low air travel tax highlights just how negatively such taxes impact on economic competitiveness, and the vitality of the aviation and tourism industries.
“The Irish government understood that the tax was damaging, and they have acted. The UK government should take note, and take urgent action to counter the negative impact APD is having on UK competitiveness.”
Simon Buck, chief executive of the British Air Transport Association, said: “The Irish government has gone the way of Holland and Denmark, and abolished their version of APD.
“Even though their air tax was much lower than the UK’s to start with, the Irish felt compelled to act. I dread to think of the damage that the UK’s sky-high APD is doing to our economy and aviation and tourism industries.”
Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association added: “Ireland has seized the initiative, and demonstrated that they recognise the damaging effects of air taxes upon their economy.
“This follows Belgium, Denmark and Holland abandoning their APD, and Germany freezing it this year.
“It is clear that eye-wateringly high levels of APD in the UK are costing us business, air routes and investment.
“Whilst other European countries are cutting their aviation taxes, the Treasury here continues to insist UK APD – the highest in the world – should go up every year.
“The Chancellor should look at what’s happening in Ireland and other countries overseas, cut APD, and commission an independent study into the impact APD is having on the UK economy.”
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