Education minister Nicky Morgan has come under fire for telling an industry conference that Air Passenger Duty is a method of raising money for the government.

Her comments, made at the UKinbound convention in Leicester, sparked a furious response from Travelzoo boss Richard Singer.

The company’s European managing director said: “Nicky Morgan’s statement that ‘APD raises money’ and that as education secretary she ‘likes having money to spend on schools’ is over-simplistic.

“UK residents pay more than double the flight tax than Germany, the nation with next highest tax.

“APD was brought in as a ‘green tax’ to offset the environmental cost of flying.

“The government has never explained exactly how the money raised from APD has been spent and – like so many other taxes in the UK – it appears to have become simply another non-specific source for the government coffers – with zero accountability for how and where it is spent.

“Morgan linking APD to spending on education is tenuous and contradicts previous statements from this government.”

Singer added: “Travelzoo called for APD removal on flights during school holidays as part of the solution to fix the ‘Parent Trap’.

“APD removal for the under 12s from May this year is a good start. However APD removal on all flights – even if it was just in the school holidays – would help families far more.

“Nicky Morgan should also consider that this would help teachers as well. Just like Nicky Morgan, parents and teachers ‘like having money to spend’.”