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ELFAA members call for tax cut in upcoming UK budget
Europe’s low fares airlines have joined forces to call upon UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alastair Darling, to take decisive action in next week's UK budget to keep the country moving by removing the Air Passenger Duty (APD), or at the very least scrapping the proposed increases in APD that are due to take effect on 1 November 2009 and in 2010.
The European Low Fares Airline Association (ELFAA) has written to the Chancellor pointing out that, like much of the economy, the aviation industry is facing a difficult environment and that the recession has led to falling demand for air travel. As such, ELFAA, whose members carry more than a third of all passengers departing UK airports, has urged the abandonment of the aforementioned taxes.
“Taxing transport, which facilitates international trade, investment and other economic activity, doesn’t make any sense whatsoever at this point of the economic cycle," declared John Hanlon, ELFAA's secretary general. "Governments throughout Europe have woken up to the fact that aviation is crucial in pulling us out of recession. If we are to prosper as the global economy recovers, national distortions such as APD must not be allowed to grow. The Dutch have decided to abolish their version of APD due to its detrimental effect on their economy, and now clearly is the worst possible time for the proposed increase in APD.
"Unlike many sectors, the aviation industry is not seeking bail-outs or Government funds. However, nearly 15 years after its introduction, APD remains a virtually unique national tax on travel which undermines the competitiveness of aviation companies and the wider UK economy. It is more than a little ridiculous that, given even the recent admission by the Government’s own report that aviation already more than covers its environmental costs, the Government would even think of raising the tax burden further”.
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