Westminster should follow the Scottish government’s lead and slash Air Passenger Duty in half.
The call came from Abta as the Edinburgh government confirmed plans to cut the air tax ahead of eventually abolishing APD in Scotland.
The association is concerned that various parts of the UK would be put at a disadvantage due to different levels of APD.
Head of public affairs, Stephen D’Alfonso, said: “With the Scottish government reaffirming its commitment to reduce APD by 50%, and eventually abolishing it, Abta believes that the only sensible approach to ensure fairness for passengers across Great Britain, while improving the tax competitiveness of the whole of the UK, is for the government to significantly reduce APD, initially by matching the cuts promised in Scotland, with a view to abolishing it altogether in the life of this parliament.”
Commenting on Abta’s submission to a HM Treasury discussion paper on options for supporting English regional airports from the impacts of APD devolution, he added: “Our submission highlights that the proposed solutions will add layers of complexity to APD for passengers and businesses while distorting the marketplace.
“Abta believes that any solution must result in a fair and equal air tax regime across the UK, and a cut anywhere in Great Britain must to be matched immediately by the same reduction elsewhere.
“This is the only way to avoid a situation where parts of the UK are unfairly disadvantaged by having higher rates of APD, making it costlier for businesses in those areas to trade internationally, more expensive for foreign tourists to visit them and ultimately limit choice for local passengers.
“We call on the government to launch an urgent review of the broad economic impacts of APD with a view to significantly reducing, or abolishing APD altogether in the life of this parliament.”
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