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British Government Freezes Air Passenger Duty for 12 Months

Finance Minister, George Osbourne, delivered some good news to travellers planning Caribbean holidays after he announced during his budget statement last week that the British Government would be freezing Air Passenger Duty for 12 months.

British Government Freezes Air Passenger Duty for 12 Months

Travellers planning Caribbean holidays were pleased to hear that Air Passenger Duty would not be going up this year, when George Osbourne delivered his budget statement last week.

Britain’s Finance Minister delivered his budget on 23rd March, during which he addressed the APD tax and announced that the British Government would be freezing APD for 12 months.

The tax had already recently been increased adding further expenses to holidays in the Caribbean and causing concern for many Caribbean countries, and in addition, it was also due to face a further increase in November, 2011.

The Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Hugh Riley, said that he had hoped that Osbourne would be reducing APD so that more British and European travellers would book their Caribbean holidays.

Though the tax was not reduced, the freeze came as good news to those who had booked or were planning on booking holidays to the Caribbean over the next few months.

Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Giovanni Bisignani, said: “This is good news for Britain, its businesses, visitors and its holiday-makers. I congratulate the Chancellor on his wise decision at this critical time of rising oil prices. He has begun to address the falling competitiveness of the UK aviation sector at least by not making the APD situation worse. But much more needs to be done. Air passenger taxes in this island nation, which relies on air transport for connectivity, are still the highest in the world.”

He added: “We oppose misguided efforts on the EU ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme). But if it comes into place the UK APD must go completely. Even without the planned increase, the UK collects more than GBP 2 billion pounds annually in the name of the environment through APD. That is enough to offset the entire annual carbon footprint of the UK aviation sector four times over.”

Despite this tax freeze, British travellers have been paying 12 times more APD on EU flights than Britain’s neighbours. APD was first established in 1994 and since its introduction the government has increased the tax by an incredible 2,600 per cent.

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