The Treasury is discussing plans to reform Air Passenger Duty (APD) for flights from London airports. If the proposals are accepted, all flights from London's biggest airports will become subject to elevated taxes.
The aim behind targeting the tax increase at London is to boost the volume of passengers passing through Britain's smaller airports; statistics over recent years have revealed that British holiday-goers favour London's airports. The proposals could force holiday-makers to travel to regional airports, such as Manchester or Liverpool, in order to avoid paying more for their flight.
Although Britons could choose to pay less tax by using smaller UK airports, the current choice of destinations and the number of daily flights and direct journeys is notably wider from London's five commercial airports. Likewise, transport links to the capital are generally superior than those to other UK cities.
British flyers already suffer the burden of APD; in the last seven years ADP has increased a staggering 360 per cent. The tax mounts further when you travel outside Europe, meaning that destinations further away are becoming less accessible. For example, a family of four pays £260 in APD to fly to Egypt or the United States. This figure will rise further for flights from London airports should the Treasury's plans be put into action.
Talks are still underway in government, but have been met by steep opposition from groups such as the Fair Tax Flying campaign group. Similarly, the Taxpayer's Alliance argues that the tax could prevent middle and working class families from being able to afford to travel abroad in the future. A date for the final decision has not been announced.
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