Chamber calls for air passenger duty axe

Doncaster Chamber of Commerce economic advisor Ian Mason
Doncaster Chamber of Commerce economic advisor Ian Mason
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Doncaster Chamber of Commerce has joined four airlines in calling on the Government to scrap air passenger duty.

The tax raises more than £2 billion each year for the Government, but research suggests it has led to 30 million fewer visitors coming to the UK from overseas in the past five years.

Chamber economic adviser Ian Mason said: “Air passenger duty is a tax enforced by only a handful of countries in the World and from January, UK passengers will also have to pay the new emissions trading scheme tax. It seems ludicrous to continue to enforce air passenger duty and disadvantage every individual and business in the UK, compared with the rest of the World. Consideration must be given to the UK’s competitiveness globally – this island supports around 60m consumers – for an economy of our size, access to foreign markets is absolutely critical – any tax on travel or communication is a direct threat to the economy.

“The Government must also consider how best to reduce carbon emissions in the long-term, not the short-term. Taxing carbon is a short-term measure, aimed at forcing companies to invest in alternatives – surely there is a better way of ‘forcing’ this much- needed investment, without continually heaping costs onto business, and once again disadvantaging them in the global market.”

Easyjet, Ryanair, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways are all calling on the Government to scrap air passenger duty.