Freight group cheers rejection of per-plane tax
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has applauded the UK government's decision to not include a per-plane duty in the 2011 budget. The organization viewed the move as a tax on UK trade.
In June, the government started looking at changes to the way airlines are taxed and one of the proposed fixes was a move from a tax imposed on each passenger to a per-plane tax. In the 2011 budget released on March 23, the government stated that a plane tax won't be enacted, but that doesn't mean the issue is dead. The government did, however, choose to freeze Air Passenger Duty rates at their current level.
"The government will not introduce a per-plane duty at the present time, given concerns over the legality and feasibility of this approach," according to the 2011 budget document. "The government will start a program of intensive work with our international partners to build consensus for a per-plane duty in the future."
The ultimate goal, which is stated in the 2011 budget, is to create a "simple tax system" for air transport. The government is looking for a way to boost public finances fairly while also helping reduce the aviation sector's carbon footprint. According to FTA supply chain policy head Christopher Snelling, a similar attempt at passing a per plane duty failed three years ago.
“Air freight is hugely important to the UK’s logistics industry," Snelling said in a statement. "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 recognize the great difficulties in making this superficially attractive idea work.”