APD is a revenue raising tax

By | Category: Travel news

It will cost more to fly long haul next year

I don’t think I have ever heard a minister so dogmatically state what Air Passenger Duty is?

Earlier this week, Mel Stride, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury said – and I quote from Hansard  – “The purpose of APD is clearly, as the hon. Lady identified and as I explained in my opening remarks, to raise revenue—£3.1 billion in this instance” and that it “forms an important part of Government revenue”

So forget the idea that it is a green tax as was mooted in the 1990’s. It is just another way of us paying taxes. And Mr Stride indicated that we would be paying more from the new financial year in 2018.  Long-haul reduced rate for economy class tickets will rise by £3 and the standard rate for all classes above economy by £6. Short-haul rates will remain frozen for the sixth year in a row.

He said that £3.1 billion was raised by the tax and his attitude confirms what Just about Travel has said many times before. If the travel industry cannot show how the treasury can raise that sum elsewhere it is unlikely to cut or abolish it when the tax seems to have done very little to deter passengers from either flying into or out of the UK.

After the Scottish government fiasco of saying that they wanted to reduce the tax by 50% and abolish it altogether when the power to do so is devolved to them next year and then postponing their thinking, it looks as though the tax will be around for a few years more in England, Scotland and Wales.  From April 1st in Scotland, (an unfortunate date,) APD becomes ADT (Air Departure Tax) but it will be levied at he same rate. Any cuts  are perceived  as state aid by the EU and, as we are still members, the EU will have to approve the Scottish government plans.  Suggestions that getting that agreement might take longer than negotiating Brexit means that the taxes stay as they are.

That means we can expect another hike in 2019 but at least we now know that it is a revenue tax and not a green tax designed to deter us from flying and reduce emissions!

Isn’t it nice to know!

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