No specific changes to the current Air Passenger Duty were announced in today’s emergency budget, although the government said it would explore changes “including switching from a per-passenger to a per-plane duty”.
The announcement is in line with the policies discussed during the Conservative / Lib-Dem coalition negotiations, with the Lib-Dems favouring a tax per plane system rather than the current per passenger duty. But George Osborne added that any major changes would be “subject to public consultation”.
The full wording of the air transport entry under Excise Duties in today’s budget reads:
“The Government will explore changes to the aviation tax system, including switching from a per-passenger to a per-plane duty, which could encourage fuller planes. Major changes will be subject to public consultation.”
Easyjet has released s a statement applauding what it called a “commitment towards ending poll tax on passengers”, with CEO Andy Harrison saying:
“Four out of five British travellers would be better off under a per plane tax as private jets, cargo aircraft and travellers changing planes in Heathrow will start paying their fair share.”
“We applaud the Government’s intention to end this daft poll tax on passengers, despite fierce resistance from airlines with old aircraft who argue that inefficient flying should continue to be subsidised by efficient airlines who have invested in greener, cleaner aircraft.”
“The increase in the overall tax take from November is self-defeating. Aviation is at the heart of international trade and tourism and will be crucial in getting the economy back on the road to recovery. Air tax is already higher in the UK than anywhere else in Europe, and there is simply no scope to increase it further.”
For more information on today’s emergency budget, visit direct.gov.uk.