Categorized | Local, Regional

CAYMAN Premier leads call for fairer taxes on flights to Caribbean

Cayman Premier McKeeva Bush

(Issued on behalf of The Cayman Islands Government London Office) 

Cayman Premier McKeeva Bush on Thursday last week, urged the UK government to change the way it administers the controversial Air Passenger Duty (APD).

In a letter, Premier Bush encouraged British Chancellor George Osborne to amend the way the tax is imposed, describing it as “unfair”.

The Premier said tourism in the Cayman Islands has been hit by rises in the tax.

He revealed that there was a lower APD imposed on people flying to the West Coast of America than to the majority of the Caribbean.

Premier Bush wrote: “In the Caribbean there are no less than sixteen Commonwealth and Overseas Territories and I would suggest that our ‘special relationship’ with the United Kingdom requires even more favourable treatment than the United states of America”

The letter to the Chancellor urged the “discrimination” to end. He also urged Osborne to implement a two band system rather than the current four band.

“We strongly believe that a two band system is better than the four band system because it addresses the discrimination of the current system in it’s treatment of long haul destinations

“It cannot be right that every destination in the USA just west of the East Coast cities is in a lower band than the Cayman Islands even though they are much further away.”

Mr Bush, who is in London to attend the Overseas Territories Consultative Council meeting, wants a fairer, more simplified system.

He wrote: “A two band system is easier to administrate and can bring in an equivalent amount of revenue for the Treasury whilst being less discriminatory to the Caribbean.”

At the moment, a family of four travelling from London to the Caribbean in premium classes would pay £600 in APD taxes alone.

Tax on a family of four flying in premium classes to the Caribbean is £120 more than tax on flights to Hawaii.

Premier Bush pointed out that the APD tax not only affects tourism but “ordinary citizens who have to travel on family or personal business,

“Many of our citizens who are not wealthy tourists and have no choice but to travel. APD impacts hardest on them.”

Furthermore Premier Bush raised the issue of premium economy seats.

“We also urge you to reverse the unfairness whereby premium economy is treated like first-class. Anyone who pays extra for a ‘premium economy’ seat is getting nothing more than two inches extra legroom and it is unfair that for this negligible benefit they should have to pay tax at a higher rate”

The UK imposes an APD on all passengers departing from British airports. APD on flights to the Caribbean is £75 per person in economy and £150 in other classes.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Cayman Premier McKeeva Bush

(Issued on behalf of The Cayman Islands Government London Office) 

Cayman Premier McKeeva Bush on Thursday last week, urged the UK government to change the way it administers the controversial Air Passenger Duty (APD).

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In a letter, Premier Bush encouraged British Chancellor George Osborne to amend the way the tax is imposed, describing it as “unfair”.

The Premier said tourism in the Cayman Islands has been hit by rises in the tax.

He revealed that there was a lower APD imposed on people flying to the West Coast of America than to the majority of the Caribbean.

Premier Bush wrote: “In the Caribbean there are no less than sixteen Commonwealth and Overseas Territories and I would suggest that our ‘special relationship’ with the United Kingdom requires even more favourable treatment than the United states of America”

The letter to the Chancellor urged the “discrimination” to end. He also urged Osborne to implement a two band system rather than the current four band.

“We strongly believe that a two band system is better than the four band system because it addresses the discrimination of the current system in it’s treatment of long haul destinations

“It cannot be right that every destination in the USA just west of the East Coast cities is in a lower band than the Cayman Islands even though they are much further away.”

Mr Bush, who is in London to attend the Overseas Territories Consultative Council meeting, wants a fairer, more simplified system.

He wrote: “A two band system is easier to administrate and can bring in an equivalent amount of revenue for the Treasury whilst being less discriminatory to the Caribbean.”

At the moment, a family of four travelling from London to the Caribbean in premium classes would pay £600 in APD taxes alone.

Tax on a family of four flying in premium classes to the Caribbean is £120 more than tax on flights to Hawaii.

Premier Bush pointed out that the APD tax not only affects tourism but “ordinary citizens who have to travel on family or personal business,

“Many of our citizens who are not wealthy tourists and have no choice but to travel. APD impacts hardest on them.”

Furthermore Premier Bush raised the issue of premium economy seats.

“We also urge you to reverse the unfairness whereby premium economy is treated like first-class. Anyone who pays extra for a ‘premium economy’ seat is getting nothing more than two inches extra legroom and it is unfair that for this negligible benefit they should have to pay tax at a higher rate”

The UK imposes an APD on all passengers departing from British airports. APD on flights to the Caribbean is £75 per person in economy and £150 in other classes.