APD for under-12s being scrapped

05 December 2014 10:07

Children under the age of 12 will no longer be charged air passenger duty from May next year

Children under the age of 12 will no longer be charged air passenger duty from May next year

Are you thinking about booking a family holiday for next summer but concerned about affording it?

The Government is making things that little bit easier. Parents with young children are set to save money now plans to scrap air passenger duty (APD) for those under the age of 12 have been announced.

Chancellor George Osborne announced in his autumn statement that APD for children younger than 12 is to be abolished from May 1 next year.

Good news for parents?

The news is likely to be welcomed by the parents of young children, who will be able to arrange adequate family holiday insurance knowing that some money has already been saved against last year's trip.

Mr Osborne went even further when he announced that children under the age of 16 will also be exempt from the APD departure tax from March 2016.

The announcements come in the wake of plans unveiled in the Budget earlier this year to axe the two highest tariffs in the four-band APD system from April 2015.

Once brought in, the changes mean an economy-class ticket travelling more than 2,000 miles - the highest APD band - will pay £71 in the tax. For a similar ticket travelling 2,000 miles or less, passengers can expect an APD bill of £13.

But what does the travel industry say?

Nathan Stower, chief executive of the British Air Transport Association, described scrapping APD for children as an "an early stocking-filler for families who save hard for holidays".

He did warn, however, that the May 2015 introduction date could cause practical difficulties as the industry has always maintained that any APD changes should be brought in over the course of a year due to advance bookings.

The Abta travel organisation also backed the plans, describing the move as "hugely positive", but claimed that the whole APD tariff system needed to be reviewed by government.

In a bid to increase flight price transparency, Mr Osborne also revealed plans to make airlines declare on tickets how much passengers were paying in fuel surcharges.

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