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At this weeks Inaugural TTG Director’s club dinner the hot topic on everyone’s lips was the APD increases, otherwise known as the ‘Green Tax’.

Introduced in 1994, these taxes have risen several times since and are set to skyrocket.

To date (and until 1 November 2009) rates stood at £10 for European destinations and £40 for all other destinations for Economy, £20 for European destinations and £80 for all other destinations on Premium seats (including business class only airlines).

From 1 November 2009 this will change to include geographical location ‘bands’ based on the distance from London to the capital city of destination. Economy seats in Band D will rise to £85 in 2010, while Premium fares will see their taxes rise as high as £170.

For full details check www.hmrc.gov.uk/pbr2008/pbrn20.pdf

Although we understand the aviation industry should cover its environmental costs, we feel a ‘Green Tax’ is already taken care of with the current APD.

Niall Douglas, MD of Full Circle Travel says “Many of us feel that this is just a stealth tax by the government which is going to be crippling for many travellers. The UK is the only country introducing charges on this scale.”

The worry is that destinations like the Caribbean and Kenya will be heavily penalised, as well as popular long haul routes to Australia and New Zealand.

Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather believes the Caribbean will suffer because it’s due to be lumbered with higher taxes than the US West Coast for example, despite their closer geographical location. She says: “The new banding system will result in flights to the Caribbean incurring a higher tax than flights to the West Coast of the United States, despite being closer in distance to the UK.”

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett agrees, saying that APD is an “inherently unfair tax and not the least bit green”. The structure of APD … suggests that the impact of a flight to Jamaica or Barbados is greater
than one to … Los Angeles,” he added. “Why should Caribbean countries with relatively low emissions suffer the effects of an environmental tax, in favour of the world’s biggest polluter?”

If you oppose the new APD why not sign the online petition at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/APDIncrease/