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UK: Lobbying for slashing of Air Passenger Duty intensifies

Representatives from the aviation and travel sectors have found themselves on the same side as they joined forces to lobby for the slashing of the Air Passenger Duty in this month’s budget.

They pushed their campaign for reducing the air tax in half to the Treasury and Number 10 Downing Street with the help of MP Grant Shapps.

The A Fair Tax on Flying crusaders forwarded a letter signed by more than 40 members of the British Infrastructure Group of MPs and Peers that Shapps heads. They stressed the detrimental impact of the high level of APD on trade and connectivity and requested for a “decisive” cut in the tax.

A petitioning letter was handed in to the door of Number 10, asking the Prime Minister for a more impactful move on the APD.

Representatives of Airlines UK, Airport Operators Association, Bar-UK, Abta, UKinbound, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines and Bristol airport supported Shapps as he delivered the correspondence to HM Treasury.

Shapps said, “As it stands APD is acting as a ‘tax on trade’ with the UK having the highest level of air passenger taxes in the world. Only aviation can connect the UK to the emerging markets that are seen as vital to our continued post-Brexit prosperity.

“If the government is to act on its commitments, especially around securing new trading partners outside the EU, it must make it as easy as possible to do business.

Our current high levels of APD place these commitments at risk. We urge the chancellor to cut APD to show Britain is open for business, boost tourism and reduce the cost of holidays for hard pressed families.”

A Fair Tax on Flying Campaign Spokesman Henk van Klaveren chimed in, saying: “Harnessing the support of MPs and peers is a vital part of our campaigning work to secure a cut of at least 50% in APD. We’re grateful to Grant Shapps for his high-profile support and to the growing list of MPs now listed as supporters on our campaign website. The whole economy needs an APD cut of at least 50% to get us on a level playing field with the next highest aviation tax country in the EU, Germany.”

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