Abta chief calls for more support for APD campaign

Abta chief Mark Tanzer today called on anti-air tax supporters to push towards a target of 100,000 emails as more business organisations backed the A Fair Tax on Flying campaign.

The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group are the latest bodies to support the industry lobby against high rates of Air Passenger Duty.

Organisers are expected to announce support from other leading business groups over the next few days.

In the five weeks since the campaign was launched 75,000 people have emailed their MP using the template email hosted on the website.

Tanzer said: “Every day more and more businesses and consumers are backing the A Fair Tax on Flying campaign, highlighting just how unpopular APD has become.

“We call on all supporters to continue to spread the word to swiftly bring us to our target of 100,000 emails to MPs.”

More than 75 MPs including former Liberal Democrat leaders Sir Menzies Campbell MP and Charles Kennedy MP, as well as Conservative 1922 Committee chairman, Graham Brady MP, have signed a Parliamentary Early Day Motion over APD.

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce policy director and deputy chief executive Chris Fletcher said: “British businesses are suffering: they face an additional tax for doing business abroad while those industries that depend on inbound traffic are losing out as tourism goes elsewhere.

“The UK has the highest air taxation anywhere in the world, which makes us an expensive place to do business at the very time when we need to be globally competitive.

“Exporters from the North West are currently out-performing their non-exporting competitors and keeping the economy growing – we don’t want the impact of APD to damage exporting in the region.”

Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group chief executive Jerry Blackett said: “Perversely the markets that we need to be exporting to, China, India, Brazil and Mexico for example, incur some of the highest levels of APD.

“If we are serious about an export-led recovery then we need to ensure our aviation taxes are competitive and fair.”

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