Following the hikes in Air Passenger Duty this week, ABTA is stepping up its campaign against the tax by seeking the support of British Overseas Territories. Speaking at a meeting of UKOTA, the UK Overseas Territories Association, ABTA called for a more co-ordinated approach against APD and warned that visitor numbers to Britain’s OTs were at risk if the flight tax continued to rise.
The UKOTA represents 14 different territories with a population of 250,000 and thousands more friends and family resident in the UK. ABTA recently agreed to work alongside Caribbean islands against the tax and extending this co-operation to include the UK’s Overseas Territories would further enhance the lobby against this unfair flight tax.
ABTA Head of Public Affairs, Luke Pollard, met yesterday with representatives of Britain’s Overseas Territories to discuss ways in which public awareness in the OTs can be raised and marshalled to focus on persuading the government to change its mind on Air Passenger Duty.
Mr Pollard said: “There is a strong link between the UK and the Overseas Territories. Each year thousands of people travel between the UK and Britain’s Overseas Territories contributing millions to the economies of these islands. The hike in Air Passenger Duty is putting these lifelines and trade routes at risk and making it more expensive for British citizens to visit friends and family in the Overseas Territories. OTs are already reporting falling numbers of Britons visiting their islands and this week’s hike in tax will only price more people out of visiting the Overseas Territories.”
“Overseas Territories have a close relationship with the UK Government and they can provide special support for this campaign. Taxing air links to Britain’s Overseas Territories is not just bad policy; it is bad for the territories and bad for Britain too. ABTA is asking Overseas Territories to write to the UK Chancellor to ask that the level of APD be included in the current review of aviation taxes by HMT”.
|Overseas Territory||APD Band||Reduced Rate||Standard Rate|
|Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia||A||12||24|
|British Indian Ocean Territory||C||75||150|
|British Virgin Islands||C||75||150|
|Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha||C||75||150|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||C||75||150|
|British Antarctic Territory||D||85||170|
|South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands||D||85||170|