ABTA is to enlist expert legal help in claiming compensation from the Government over lost agency revenue from the Insurance Premium Tax anomaly.

President Steven Freudmann said: “The IPT issue affected every travel agent in the land.

“We believe we have a good case for putting in a claim for loss of business.”

He said the claim could run into ‘millions of pounds’.

Chief executive Ian Reynolds added: “We are seeking expert opinion on this.”

The Government levelled out IPT at 17.5% for direct sales – the same rate as for policies bought through agencies – on August 1 1998 after months of campaigning from Travel Weekly and the industry. Previously, direct businesses paid just 4% IPT.