Lib Dems go low cost on APD

14 Apr 2010 by BusinessTraveller

The Conservative Party has pledged to reform the current Air Passenger Duty, while the Liberal Democrats say they would scrap the tax altogether, in favour of a Per Plane Duty.

The current Labour government does not make specific mention of APD in its manifesto, but has already announced plans to raise APD levels this November, with premium class passengers on the longest routes set to see a hike of up to £60 per flight.

The Conservatives say they will “Reform Air Passenger Duty to encourage a switch to fuller and cleaner planes”, while the Liberal  Democrats have today announced they would replace APD with a Per Plane Duty (PPD), likely to benefit low-cost carriers which fly more people per plane than their full-service rivals. 

The Lib Dems say they would also extend PPD to include air freight, and would penalise short-haul flights with a higher tax rate where a “realistic alternative and less polluting travel is available”.

Both the Conservatives and the Lib Dems reiterated their commitment to scrapping plans for a third runway at Heathrow, with the Conservatives pledging to build a high-speed rail line connecting London to Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. 

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Report by Mark Caswell

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