Airport’s ‘GIVE US A BREAK!’ tax campaign for passengers


Holidaymakers and business travellers flying from East Midlands Airport are being asked to tell the Government to ‘GIVE US A BREAK!’ in a campaign to persuade the Government to make air taxes lower from regional airports.

The campaign is designed to raise passengers’ awareness of the high cost of Air Passenger Duty (APD) and how it impacts on the price of their ticket.

Specially designed post-boxes have been installed for passengers to send a postcard to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, encouraging him to consider a lower level of air taxes for airports outside London.

Regional businesses are also backing the campaign, calling for lower taxes to boost regional economic growth.

George Cowcher, Chief Executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Chamber is supportive of East Midlands Airport’s proposals regarding reforms to Government’s current aviation tax, in favour of a new policy which is simple, fair and would help to promote regional economic growth.

“Regional airports such as East Midlands make a key contribution to their local economy, yet the current “one size fits all” aviation tax has far greater financial impact in the regions than it does in London.

“If this Government is serious about rebalancing the UK economy and promoting growth across all regions, it should incentivise the growth of regional airports through discounted taxation."

Martin Traynor, Group Chief Executive of the Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The currently level of APD disproportionately affects airports outside London. Regional airports like East Midlands have been hit the hardest by the economic downturn, and have a far lower percentage of business travellers, inbound tourists or wealthy passengers with a high propensity to fly.”

“The Government is clearly committed to constraining the growth of the already congested London airports, preferring to see regional airports take the strain. However, unless decisive action is taken by the Government, then that simply won’t happen.”

Since APD was introduced in 1994, passenger taxes have increased 26-fold and are now 8 times higher than the European average. By getting involved in the campaign passengers will be showing their support for more destinations direct from their local Airport, more jobs for the region and more affordable holidays.

Brian Conway, Head of External Affairs at East Midlands Airport said: “This is the last chance for passengers and businesses to have their say on the proposed changes that could seriously affect their future holidays and business trips. Many UK travellers are unaware that they pay the highest levels of flight tax in Europe but they now have an opportunity to make their voice heard. We are asking passengers to show their support and help convince the Government that a regionalised tax system could work in the long term and provide a more resilient and viable aviation industry for the UK.”

Earlier this year, the Airport announced its support for ABTA’s 'Fair Tax on Flying' campaign and joined an alliance of more than 25 airlines, airports, tour operators, destinations and trade associations who had united to campaign to make the system of aviation tax in the UK fairer.

The final deadline for responses to the Treasury’s APD consultation to be submitted is Friday 17th June. Passengers who might not be travelling through the terminal before then can send their comments direct to the Treasury by email to: apd@hmtreasury.gsi.gov.uk

Published on: 14/06/2011 13:55:48


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