Abta poll finds support for APD cut among Tory MPs

More than half of Tory MPs think Air Passenger Duty should be cut to stimulate economic growth.

Abta released findings of a ComRes poll of 150 MPs today (Tuesday) showing that 61% of Conservative members believe that a reduction in APD should be considered as a way to increase the UK’s competitiveness and 57% believe that APD is damaging the UK’s position as a global air travel hub.

The survey shows that half (49%) of MPs believe that current rates of APD are putting UK businesses at a competitive disadvantage, while two in five MPs (40%) firmly believe they are damaging the UK’s position as a hub for global air travel.

Additionally, more than half (51%) of MPs believe that a reduction in APD should be considered as a way to increase the international competitiveness of the UK economy, therefore encouraging growth.

Abta said the figures suggest that the Conservative backbench is keen to see chancellor George Osborne implement policies that will encourage growth.

The results emerged as more than 250,000 emails were sent to MPs from UK residents and foreign travellers calling for a review of the impact of APD on UK jobs and growth. Almost 100 MPs have signed an early day motion calling for a review.

The research was conducted in the early summer, before the emails had been sent to MPs so it is possible that a re-poll would show even higher numbers believing that APD is damaging to the economy, Abta claimed.

Chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “At a time when we are facing one of the toughest ever downturns in history, the government must take every measure to get the country back on track to growth.

“The very fact that half of MPs believe current rates of APD are damaging the economy is a clear indication we need a review into the impacts of this tax before it does any further damage.

“Other governments, such as the Dutch, abolished the tax after a review found that the revenue raised was outweighed by the revenue lost.

“This summer has also shown there is overwhelming public support for a review so now the government is back from recess we call on them to listen and act.”

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