The Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK) has reacted with total dismay to HM Treasury’s long awaited response to consultation ‘Reform to Air Passenger Duty’.
Despite months of interaction with industry experts and having received 500 responses from a wide range of industry organisations and companies, the prime matters under review such as the banding system and premium economy rates have been left untouched. The end result is increased tax rates for all and no reforms whatsoever.
Mike Carrivick, chief executive of BAR UK told TravelPlus “The Treasury has completely ignored the expert opinion of the aviation and travel industry and is digging its head in the sand over what it knows is a flawed tax. Treasury has either deemed matters too complex or that changes would disadvantage others – in that case, why bother consulting?
“Change always has winners and losers but this result, doing nothing, just means increased taxes for everyone.
“Our 86 airline members are angry about the outcome. Immediate reactions are that a huge amount of money, time and effort has been spent in vain.
“’The excessive increases in APD continue to discriminate against air travellers and will provide the resolve for the industry to seek meaningful change. BAR UK will continue work with other leaders to get change sooner than later. This chapter in APD may have closed for the moment, but it will not be the end of the story.”
Also Singapore Airlines General Manager for the UK & Ireland, Mr Phee Teik Yeoh, a memeber airline of BAR UK told TravelPlus
“Today’s announcement that there will be no changes to the APD banding system is deeply disappointing and is yet another blow to the aviation industry in the UK following the rise in APD revealed by the Chancellor in his Autumn statement. The status quo fails to recognise the distinction between long-haul destinations that cannot be serviced by alternative modes of transport and short-haul trips that can. It is short-sighted of the UK government to excessively tax the route between the UK and Singapore, which is an important hub for business and trade in the Asia-Pacific region.
From the perspective of an international, long haul carrier, such levels of taxation inevitably damages the appeal of the UK as a tourism destination in comparison to other European countries. It also runs contrary to claims that the UK is ‘open for business’