East Anglia: Essex Chambers and Stansted Airport back call for cut in Air Passenger Duty.

BUSINESS leaders in Essex have joined more than 10,000 people around the East of England in demanding a cut in Air Passenger Duty.

More than 100,000 constituents across the country have emailed their MPs in support of a cut in APD since the launch of A Fair Tax On Flying, a campaign operating through social media and its own dedicated website, www.afairtaxonflying.org .

According to organisers, more than 10% of the responses have come from constituencies within the East of England, and the campaign has also been backed by Essex Chambers of Commerce and Stansted Airport.

APD was introduced in 1994 and, following a series of increases including an 8% rise in this year’s Budget, the UK now said to have the most expensive airport passenger tax in the world, charging �13 per passenger on short-haul flights and between �65 and �92 on long-haul journeys.

Denise Rossiter, chief executive of Essex Chambers, said the high rates of APD were having a negative impact on inward investment and economic growth.

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“Research carried out by British Chambers of Commerce found that APD could cost the UK economy somewhere in the region of �10billion in lost growth and up to quarter of a million jobs over the next 20 years,” she said.

“If we are serious about an export-led recovery then we need to ensure our aviation taxes are competitive and fair. The Government needs to act now and reduce the level of APD.”

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Nick Barton, managing director at Stansted Airport, added: “Countries including Holland and Denmark clearly recognise the negative impact high rates of flight tax have on inward investment and tourism and have either scrapped or significantly reduced the rates they charge.

“When Holland scrapped their version of aviation tax, they found the tax actually cost the Dutch economy four times more than the revenue it raised.

“In fact, the UK is now only one of six European countries still imposing this tax and we charge twice the amount of the next most expensive country, Germany.”

“We had no hesitation in lending our support and I would encourage anyone that agrees APD is now too high, but hasn’t yet pledged their support, to do so.”

A Fair Tax on Flying is a campaign involving more than 30 leading travel organisations including airlines, airports, trade associations and destinations.

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