Categorized | Regional

Caribbean Tourism Officials Remain Concerned About Britain`s Air Duty

CaribWorldNews, Barbados:
As the countdown begins to the November increase in Britain`s Air Passenger Duty, the Caribbean Tourism Organization is voicing concern over a delayed a decision over the future of  the tax.

The CTO`s comments come as George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer,  said during his emergency budget speech that the British Coalition Government would simply continue to `explore changes to the aviation tax system, including switching from a per passenger to a per plane duty, which could encourage fuller planes.`

He said that any major changes would be subject to public consultations, with a report likely to arrive in the autumn. But John Maginley, Chairman of the CTO, said Tuesday that he is concerned that the discriminatory tax bands that remain in place and the planned rise in duty scheduled for November.

`We understand that the British government needs to raise taxation but the current structure is unfair and unbalanced,` he said. `We simply should not be in a different tax band to the USA.

In November, APD is scheduled to rise from £22 to £24 on short-haul flights, from £90 to £120 on flights between 2001 and 4000 miles, from £100 to £150 on flights between 4001 and 6000 miles, and from £110 to £170 on flights over 6000 miles, under plans put in place by the previous Labor Government. These rises will see annual revenue from APD rise to £3.8 billion.

APD has already risen by up to 325 per cent since 2006, and leading figures from the aviation industry claim that further increases will hit families hardest and lead to a decline in both inbound and outbound travel.

`This is such a hugely serious issue for our region that we are now planning to review the opportunity for putting the matter to the new British government`,` added Maginley. `It`s clear that because our economies are so heavily reliant on tourism this tax is effectively a tax on our countries` exports. We`ll be reviewing the position with organisations such as the World Trade Organisation.`

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CaribWorldNews, Barbados:
As the countdown begins to the November increase in Britain`s Air Passenger Duty, the Caribbean Tourism Organization is voicing concern over a delayed a decision over the future of  the tax.

The CTO`s comments come as George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer,  said during his emergency budget speech that the British Coalition Government would simply continue to `explore changes to the aviation tax system, including switching from a per passenger to a per plane duty, which could encourage fuller planes.`

He said that any major changes would be subject to public consultations, with a report likely to arrive in the autumn. But John Maginley, Chairman of the CTO, said Tuesday that he is concerned that the discriminatory tax bands that remain in place and the planned rise in duty scheduled for November.

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`We understand that the British government needs to raise taxation but the current structure is unfair and unbalanced,` he said. `We simply should not be in a different tax band to the USA.

In November, APD is scheduled to rise from £22 to £24 on short-haul flights, from £90 to £120 on flights between 2001 and 4000 miles, from £100 to £150 on flights between 4001 and 6000 miles, and from £110 to £170 on flights over 6000 miles, under plans put in place by the previous Labor Government. These rises will see annual revenue from APD rise to £3.8 billion.

APD has already risen by up to 325 per cent since 2006, and leading figures from the aviation industry claim that further increases will hit families hardest and lead to a decline in both inbound and outbound travel.

`This is such a hugely serious issue for our region that we are now planning to review the opportunity for putting the matter to the new British government`,` added Maginley. `It`s clear that because our economies are so heavily reliant on tourism this tax is effectively a tax on our countries` exports. We`ll be reviewing the position with organisations such as the World Trade Organisation.`