A campaign to get the APD removed or at least cut from flights out of Great Britain was launched this summer. At the moment, British tourists are paying the highest amount of tax for their flights in the world. It also affects any visitors to the UK on their return flights.
Britons that visit the website www.afairtaxonflying.org are encouraged to enter their name, postcode and email address. The site will then send an automated message to that individual’s local MP communicating disapproval of the level of tax paid by British fliers.
More than 200,000 people have so far sent an email to their MP with a desire to consider lowering or abolishing the tax added onto flights. Michael Gove and Vince Cable have received the most complaints about the issue, having received 1,224 and 1,171 emails respectively.
David Cameron, Prime Minister, has already had more than 500 constituents contact him about the issue ahead of further rises in APD planned within the next 12 months. 80,000 non-UK residents have also expressed their displeasure with the UK Treasury.
The current APD on travel out of Britain has been accused of limiting families from flying abroad, discouraging tourists from flying into the UK and even the decline of tourism to countries heavily reliant on the travel industry, like the Caribbean.
A family of four travelling to Europe must pay £52 in tax. Flying to other countries can cost even higher amounts. To travel to the Caribbean will add £324 in tax and those visiting Australia are hit with a £368 worth of APD. These costs double if tourists wish to travel in premium-economy or above.
With the UK having the highest rate of APD, far more than the rest of the world, support for the campaign is growing. A review into the impact of APD was called for in Parliament after more than 100 MPs signed an early-day motion in June.
The government’s reaction remains to be seen.