Budget 2011: No increase in Air Passenger Duty

Yesterday saw Chancellor George Osbourne bring some good news for the travel industry in this year’s budget. It was announced that Air Passenger Duty (APD) will not be increasing this year. Osbourne told how he will be delaying the increase until next year due to the heavy rises in tax last year.

It was also confirmed that talks will be starting today regarding the system of distance banding used for the tax. These talks will review the “rather arbitrary nature of the banding system which appears to consider the Caribbean to be further away than parts of the US and Hawaii,” he commented.

APD will now be extended to private jets too so that APD taxation does not have to be increased. He said “the wealthiest should not escape the tax the ordinary holidaymaker has to pay.” The hefty rise in last year’s duty and the increasing cost pressures on families was the reason behind the delay in the APD rise.

Osbourne further added that he wanted to replace APD with a per plane duty. However current international laws permit this, and so the UK government will now be working to change this law.

What did you make of Chancellor George Osbourne’s 2011 budget? Are you happy with the freeze in APD or do you think better changes should have been made instead? Let us know your opinions by leaving your comments below.

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