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FTA relieved as ‘per plane’ aviation tax avoided in Budget

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) welcomed the Government’s decision to reform Air Passenger Duty and not to attempt to introduce a ‘per plane tax’. The proposal, which the Government had concluded would be illegal under international law, would have jeopardised the UK’s competitiveness as a place to do business.

Christopher Snelling, FTA’s Head of Supply Chain Policy, said:

"The government’s recognition that ‘per plane’ aviation tax doesn’t work is good news and will relieve some of the pressure on businesses reliant on air freight, particularly in the manufacturing sector."

The case against abandoning plans to replace APD with a ‘per plane tax’ was a key feature of FTA’s Budget Submission, which highlighted such a move as a tax on UK trade. This is the second time recently that a Government has examined but then rejected the case for Per Plane Duty. Per Plane Duty was examined by the Labour government three years ago and also rejected then as it could not be made to work.

Snelling concluded:
"Air freight is hugely important to the UK’s logistics industry. By value alone it accounts for a quarter of all imported goods moved in the UK. Replacing air passenger duty in this way would only have served to push business away from our airports and towards those on the Continent whilst saving nothing in emissions. We hope that now it has been rejected twice by different Governments, people will start to recognise the great difficulties in making this superficially attractive idea work"

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