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MPs: Brits 'must pay less air tax'

27 July 2016 08:46

Britons pay some of the world's highest air taxes

Britons pay some of the world's highest air taxes

British holidaymakers can look forward to lower flight taxes if a group of MPs' wishes come true.

The British Infrastructure Group (BIG) is lobbying the Government to urgently introduce lower Air Passenger Duty (APD).

In a new study, the all-party organisation says this is vital if the UK is to grow international trade partnerships as it learns to live outside the EU post-Brexit.

Only Chad in Africa imposes higher air taxes than Britain, the group claims. Its says that the UK's rates are several times greater than that of comparable taxes around the world, including the US and across Europe.

Arguments against high APD rates

BIG claims high APD is harming the UK by:

• putting smaller carriers at a disadvantage when trying to compete with international rivals

• distorting the carrier market

• inhibiting exports

• putting up barriers against potential new business partnerships after Britain voted itself out of the EU.

Such a move would come at no extra cost to the Treasury, BIG claims. This is because lower rates would help boost the economy as a whole and so work out cost-neutral.

Another potential saving

Besides reduced APD, travellers can also potentially save themselves hundreds of pounds by taking out trusted travel insurance. This can guard against some of the worst things that can happen on holiday.

These include lost passports and other travel documents, mislaid luggage and stolen belongings, including sunglasses, devices and clothes.

Health policies can also be taken out to guarantee round-the-clock emergency medical help.

What BIG also wants

The BIG report also calls for:

• a decision to be made on South-East England's next runaway as soon as possible

• the expansion of local airports

• more joined-up regional airport infrastructure

Other calls

But the Commons group, led by Tory member Grant Shapps, is not the only organisation calling for an ADP change.

Earlier this year Ryanair called for the levy to be scrapped altogether. The budget airline says such a move would boost both employment and tourism growth.

In March, the Government axed APD for all flyers aged under 16.