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NEWS Last modified on August 1, 2011

Airline association blasts UK over aviation taxes

The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has blasted the UK government for its "punitive taxation of air travel" in the shape of the Air Passenger Duty (APD).

The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has blasted the UK government for its "punitive taxation of air travel" in the shape of the Air Passenger Duty (APD).

It claimed the APD is an "ill-conceived tax measure, and fundamentally misguided in its approach".

AAPA also strongly criticised the UK government for its failure to recognise the positive contribution made by the aviation industry as a key catalyst of economic growth.

Commenting on recent proposals by the UK government to reform APD, Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general, said: “We have long held the view that the APD is an ill-conceived tax measure, and fundamentally misguided in its approach. 

"Having been subject to repeated revisions, the APD is certainly not simple, nor is it coherent in terms of addressing the government’s own stated policy objectives.”

He observed: “The UK government has performed repeated flip flops, on occasion trying to justify APD, entirely spuriously, as an environmental measure, but later admitting that it was purely a revenue-raising fiscal measure, that extracts $4 billion a year from the travelling public.  

"The APD is entirely ineffective as an environmental measure, to address climate change and reduce emissions, for the simple reason that none of the funds raised are directed towards achieving any environmental benefit.”

Herdman went on to say: “Furthermore, the UK Government appears to be blind to the hidden damage done to the broader economy as a result of the imposition of punitive taxes on aviation, threatening the UK’s competitive position as a major business services hub and popular tourist destination, causing growing concern amongst the wider business community.”

AAPA submitted a number of comments to the UK Government as part of the latest consultation process on further possible reforms to APD.

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