Treasury minister Robert Jenrick hinted that the government might consider making a cut to air passenger duty (APD) after the UK leaves the European Union.
Under current EU rules, return legs cannot be exempt from the £13 tax levied on domestic economy seats. However, Jenrick agreed during Treasury questions in the House of Commons earlier this week that “as we leave the European Union that could change and the Treasury will keep that under consideration”, according to the Telegraph.
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in the autumn budget that APD rates for short-haul flights and those on long-haul economy tickets would remain frozen for a fifth year, paid for by an increase in premium class long-haul and private jet tax.
The announcement was a disappointment to campaigners who called for a cut to all APD as a way of helping the UK remain competitive in the international economy post-Brexit.
Speaking on the latest announcement, Tim Cade, spokesperson for campaign group A Fair Tax on Flying, said: “It is encouraging that the new minister has stated the government could look at reducing domestic APD post-Brexit, however we believe that he should look at reducing APD for all flights to demonstrate that the UK is open for business as Brexit approaches.
APD is the highest of any form of aviation taxation in the EU and acts as a tax on consumers and on trade. UK businesses are being placed at a competitive disadvantage at the very time that we need to be reaching out to form the global trading relationships that are essential to our post-Brexit future.”