Reply To: Budget 2011: Osborne to unveil private jet flight tax

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Do you really want to force wealth-generating individuals “into penury”? Is that at all sensible? While I agree it does seem fair to have simple flat APD tax on Business Jets, let’s not forget there are private pilots in single engine put-puts who enjoy a spin of a weekend, and those learning a trade so it’s not as simple as all that.

Those who do arrive here in private planes (and in F and J) probably drop thousands in VAT and other taxes during their time spent in the UK, not to mention all the other real spend, so let’s not get all chippy and cite daft comparisons along the “think of the children!” lines.

Bottom line is we are (just about) able to sustain a welfare state as a consequence not of high taxes, but because of this country’s capacity to generate wealth. Facilitating easy and also affordable transport is one of the ways in which we have historically achieved that, and APD is a barrier to this at a time of unprecedented inflation and other cost increases, and it needs to be reformed.

I have certainly varied my travel plans and booking approach in light of the higher levels of APD. I know very many people who do so, to the detriment of both the environment (as we take more indirect routings) and also pushing business through other European hubs, sometimes onto non-UK airlines (perish the thought, but it does happen, apparently!). To there is no truth in the assertion that APD has not changed behaviours; it has.

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