Fair Tax on Flying Campaign
March 3rd, 2011 by elisa

British Airways, BAA and UKinbound have united with ABTA to endorse the Fair Tax on Flying campaign launched today.

They are calling on Chancellor George Osborne to abandon plans for further rises in aviation tax, which has increased 26-fold since its 1994 introduction.

In an open letter to the Chancellor, the campaigners point out that UK has the highest levels of aviation tax in Europe. Denmark, Sweden, Malta and the Netherlands have axed aviation taxes.

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “When it comes to the future of tourism in the UK, the Government’s words and deeds simply do not match up. The Prime Minister has identified tourism as one of the top five industries to drive growth, yet aviation tax has become a punitive stealth tax.

“It is vital that the Government understands the impact it is having on the health of the tourism industry in the UK. The industry is willing to pay its way, but a 26-fold increase since 1994 puts the UK at a competitive disadvantage when compared with our European neighbours and punishes UK holidaymakers and business travellers unfairly.

“Air passenger numbers have decreased by 22% since 2007 when the tax was last increased, and increasing it yet further will cause significant strain on hard-pressed family budgets and hamper the UK economy’s growth.”

British Airways chief executive Keith Williams said: “We recognise the exceptional difficulty of the country’s fiscal position and we are content to pay our fair share. But the UK airline industry is already the most heavily taxed in the world and any further tax burden will be counterproductive to the country’s economic recovery.”

UKinbound chief executive Mary Rance said: “We feel that it is vital for UKinbound to join forces with colleagues in the inbound and indeed outbound industries to stand united against this damaging tax, which only works to make the UK uncompetitive and unattractive as a destination.

“It acts directly against the wider objective of making the UK one of the top five tourism countries and is certainly a barrier to growth in inbound tourism, the third largest export industry to the UK. Our contribution to the UK economy could be even greater with a fairer tax on aviation.”

The campaign includes a new site on Facebook, afairtaxonflying, inviting members of the public to sign up.

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