Scrap the Tax on Family Flights Campaign

 

Scrap the Tax on Family Flights Campaign Logo

 

What is A Fair Tax on Flying calling for?

The scrapping of Air Passenger Duty (APD) on flights for children under the age of 12. Abolishing APD for children would help to make an annual holiday more affordable for hard working and hard pressed families.

Why should you support the campaign to Scrap the Tax on Family Flights?

There is a well-established principle that children are mostly exempt from taxes such as this. For example childrens good’s are zero-rated for VAT. Supporting this campaign puts you on the side of hardworking families in your constituency and across the UK.

The Problem: British families pay more tax to fly than anyone else in the world!

APD adds £52 to the cost of a family of four’s economy class flights to destinations in Europe and £276 to economy class flights to destinations such as the US. This is a significant cost on families that strive to save for their holiday each year.

Research by NatCen Social Research and The Family Holiday Association has shown that a family holiday is fundamental to the health, well-being and emotional development of children and is an essential part of a happy family life.

In August the Government pledged to put families at the heart of policy-making with a test to ensure all domestic policies help family life. APD acts against this stated aim.

Currently only four other European countries levy a similar tax and UK passengers on average pay more than three times as much tax on their flights as German passengers and almost thirty times as much as French passengers. The Netherlands, Denmark and the Republic of Ireland have all abolished their departure taxes in recent years. Why should UK families be taxed so much more to travel on their annual holiday than their German, French, and other European counterparts?

The Solution: Scrap the Tax on Family Flights!

We estimate that abolishing APD for children will reduce the Exchequer’s revenues from APD by £50m-60m (equivalent to only 1.6% of the £3 billion the Treasury is expecting to raise from APD in 2014/15).

Families flying abroad already contribute significantly to the economy. The outbound tourism sector contributes £54.2bn (3.8%) of UK GDP as well as generating £6 billion in tax for HM Treasury (nearly 2% of all Treasury revenues).

 

Some important points about the campaign to Scrap the Tax on Family Flights

This campaign does not mean that A Fair Tax on Flying has given up on its overall aim of abolishing Air Passenger Duty. We achieved some notable success earlier this year in getting the Government to scrap the two highest ‘bands’ of Air Passenger Duty (Bands C & D) from April 2015 – a move that will deliver significant savings to passengers taking longer distance flights. The campaign to scrap the tax on family flights is just the latest chapter in a much bigger story.

Holidays are not a luxury – they are vital to families and children in particular. An annual family holiday is considered by most people to be an essential part of a happy family life. Furthermore, research by NatCen Social Research has shown that a family holiday is fundamentally important to the health, well-being and emotional development of children.

This is not just about foreign holidays – APD applies to domestic flights as well as outbound flights. In fact, UK families flying to destinations with the UK pay the tax twice. Furthermore, families flying abroad already contribute significantly to the economy. The outbound tourism sector contributes £54.2bn (3.8%) of UK GDP as well as generating £6 billion in tax for HM Treasury (nearly 2% of all Treasury revenues).

The cost of APD deters families from taking flights – domestic, inbound and outbound – particularly hard pressed families. Abolishing APD on children’s flights would therefore help to make an annual holiday more affordable for hard working families.

Departure taxes like APD are the exception rather than the norm in Europe. Only four other EU countries – Austria, France, Germany and Italy – levy a similar duty on passengers, and none do so at the same level as the UK. A number of European countries – such as the Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland – have abolished their departure taxes. Crucially, APD costs the average family £52 on a typical family holiday which means British families pay more tax on flying than families anywhere else in the world.

There is in fact a well-established principle that children under the age of 12 are mostly exempt from taxes. Also, most airlines charge children under 12 a reduced fare to fly yet the Government charges APD at the same rate on children as it does on adults. That just isn’t fair.

The high rate of APD in the UK is having a significant impact on families visiting the UK.

Foreign tourists traveling as a family are being deterred from visiting the UK because of APD. Their contribution to the UK economy is extremely important accounting for £21bn of UK GDP. Furthermore, Children’s APD disproportionately affects diaspora communities, impacting the ability of many families to visit relatives and friends.

This cut will benefit passengers and not the travel companies. Passengers pay APD, not airlines. Airlines transparently identify for passengers how much APD is charged on every ticket and do not charge a margin on APD. This would be a tax cut for hard working families – not a tax cut for airlines.

The travel and tourism sector is the UK’s fifth largest industry, supporting 3.1m UK jobs (roughly 10% of the UK workforce) and accounts for one third of all new employment in the UK since 2010. Aviation alone contributes £50bn of UK GDP and generates £8bn in Treasury revenues. Tourists contribute £1.8bn of UK GDP in duty-free spending.

Scrapping APD will reduce the overall cost of children’s flights all year round, during both peak and off-peak periods. The travel industry does not deride any benefit from APD –which is a tax levied by the Government – and the industry will therefore pass on the full saving from scrapping APD to customers.

 

Contact Us

For more information about the campaign please contact Danny Wilding on 020 3463 0808 / 07534 062 524 or email ScrapFamilyAPD@gmail.com

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