MSE News: Today's air tax rise 'will make family holidaying unaffordable'

edited 1 November 2010 at 1:44PM in Flights, Currency & Car Hire
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Former_MSE_NatashaFormer_MSE_Natasha Former MSE
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edited 1 November 2010 at 1:44PM in Flights, Currency & Car Hire
Monday 1 November 2010


This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

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  • The increases mean that a family of four holidaying in New York from this week will pay a total of £240 in APD, with economy seats.

    Also, a pair of gap-year students travelling to Australia, for example, and flying in premium economy class will pay £170 each, the highest APD rate - equal to the charge business and first class passengers pay.

    gap-year student flying premium economy is an oxymoron, come on, whoever wrote it can do better if they want to tug at heart strings.

    and the top figure of 240 quid is slightly misdirecting, as it bears no relativity to the rest of the cost of the ticket. It's an increase of 120p a week for an annual summer holiday for the family, which can easily saved by going on this site.

    That wasn't too taxing was it?!
  • KTFKTF Forumite
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    The increases mean that a family of four holidaying in New York from this week will pay a total of £240 in APD, with economy seats.
    Also, a pair of gap-year students travelling to Australia, for example, and flying in premium economy class will pay £170 each, the highest APD rate - equal to the charge business and first class passengers pay.
    What would these 2 examples be paying previously and what is the difference. Quoting the new figures is meaningless if there is nothing to compare them to.
  • poppy10_2poppy10_2 Forumite
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    The increases mean that a family of four holidaying in New York from this week will pay a total of £240 in APD, with economy seats.

    Whereas before the tax rise, they would have paid £180 in APD.
    I don't think anyone is going to cancel their annual family holiday over an extra £60, split between four people, when they're spending £1600 on flights and probably the same again on accommodation and other expenses. The country needs to hike taxes and cut spending to balance the books, and this rise seems fair enough to me.
    poppy10
  • No wonder inflation is so high.

    VAT rise!

    APD rise!

    TAX rise!
  • edited 1 November 2010 at 3:08PM
    chattychappychattychappy Forumite
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    edited 1 November 2010 at 3:08PM
    Predictably the media focus is on British "family holidays" - there seems to be an underlying assumption that "businessmen" are rich (they deserve to pay more, like all those "greedy bankers") and nobody else matters.

    Well, UK plc needs to get the business done. This means visiting customers, visiting trade shows etc. Contrary to popular belief, most business travellers fly economy. My company never paid for me to fly in anything other than Economy and for us travel on business was always a big decision because of the financial outlay. We were competing with Germans, French and other Europeans when doing international business.

    Also this is a tax on all flights leaving the UK - including people returning from the UK. So it will apply to tourists coming to the UK as well as foreign business travellers. Unlike UK residents, they have a choice. They can go elsewhere in Europe. Add to that the cost of visas for non-EU residents, many Asian business travellers I know just get a Schengen visa and stick to visiting mainland Europe. I suppose most people in the UK won't care about that - the fewer foreigners coming to the UK the better.

    Well very disappointed that the new UK gov has continued with these "hate" taxes. Nothing to do with the environment (they far outweigh the cost of carbon credits and aren't spent on those anyway).

    By the way, they are worse than they look. They only apply to outbound trips. If all governments had the same attitude, the overall tax bill would be much worse.

    Very happy to see the government cutting spending. But insofar as it still needs to raise taxes, then this isn't the way to do it IMHO.
  • This week's rise in Air Passenger Duty (APD) airport departure tax will make family holidays "unaffordable for many", Sir Richard Branson's airline Virgin Atlantic warned.

    Isn't that the sorta point of it? Since the APD is seen as a 'green tax' and green taxes are to encourage people to produce less carbon dioxide, the fewer people flying mean that the tax is working, no?

    Not that I agree with green taxes such as this to being with...
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  • JasonLVCJasonLVC Forumite
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    The airline industry is immune to a number of taxes that other industries cannot avoid.

    Flight tickets are zero rated for VAT purposes, so cusotmer pay no VAT on their flights but the airline can still reclaim all the VAT it incurs as a business.

    Airline fuel is generally not subject to fuel/excise duties either.

    Other European countries have a form of flight tax, Austria, Spain, Italy and Germany soon. All under the guise of "green" of course;), but it is what it is, another tax revenue raising exercise....so its nothing unusual to have this sort of tax levied on flights.
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  • Maybe families just need to be a bit more realistic and look closer to home for their holidays!

    What's to stop them using a ferry or the Eurostar?!
    Take the car and drive some of it. My best holiday memory is going to the World Cup in 1998, driving through Western France and camping.

    We have our main family holiday right here in the UK.
    Last year we took the Eurostar to Paris for Disneyland and we're doing the same in March.
    It doesn't even enter our minds to book a flight anywhere for our holiday.......
  • Shock horror! People who fly are expected to pay a relatively minor amount of tax on the fuel that is used (when compared to the tax paid on fuel for other means of transport).

    All that is shocking about this is that the way it is calculated means there is no disincentive to airlines running empty planes - in effect the airlines get a tax break for flying with fewer passengers. Put the tax on the whole flight instead, and let the airline choose how to split it out amongst the passengers. But that wouldn't suit the airlines would it! Honestly MSE, stop quoting airline press releases as news.

    Martin

    Martin
  • JasonLVC wrote: »
    Flight tickets are zero rated for VAT purposes, so cusotmer pay no VAT on their flights but the airline can still reclaim all the VAT it incurs as a business.

    True, no VAT. But then they charge APD to the consumer - which often works out more than what the VAT would be if standard rated (granted it wouldn't be always). BUT, unlike VAT, the APD levied is not reclaimable by VAT registered businesses - who will then charge VAT again on their outputs.

    It is the effect of tax on businesses and foreign visitors that concerns me, though it's not the focus in the media.
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