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Public awareness of tax on flying growing, finds Abta poll

Almost 70% of consumers believe they are already paying too much tax when flying from the UK, a poll out today (Thursday) shows.

The public is also becoming increasingly aware of the levels of tax they pay, with 65% of customers paying close attention to the amount of tax on their tickets, compared to 58% last year.

The results of the Abta survey of 2,018 people for the ‘A Fair Tax on Flying’ campaign comes as the Treasury prepares to increase Air Passenger Duty by double the rate of inflation as part of Tuesday’s autumn budget statement.

The research also reveals there is still a lingering perception that APD is a green tax, with just 9% of those surveyed believe that the tax is used for environmental purposes.

Abta is urging the government to listen to the public and rethink plans to raise APD.

The trade claims the government intends to raise tax levels in April 2012 as a “pure revenue raising exercise”.

Abta argues that this will harm economic growth as passengers opt to fly long haul from the continent where there are lesser or no taxes, but may also prove counterproductive – with 43% of passengers saying that high taxes would put them off flying. This means that the government may actually lower its total tax take.

Chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “For too long successive governments have relied on public ignorance of Air Passenger Duty to steadily increase this damaging tax to the highest levels in the world.

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