ABTA calls for freeze on travel taxes

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is calling for Chancellor Alistair Darling to freeze or reduce taxes levied on the holiday industry. He is expected to reveal details of a new Aviation Duty in the pre-budget report today (November 21).

The new tax is a replacement for Air Passenger Tax, which is £10 per individual traveller and raises £2bn each year. The tax was doubled at the start of 2007 as part of a “green” tax on the industry.

ABTA says that the funds raised already outweigh the financial costs of the alleged environmental damage. It adds that airlines have already proved its green credentials by introducing carbon offsetting schemes and joining the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme that comes into force in 2012.

According to the travel body, any increase in tax would “severely damage the industry and jeopardise holidaymakers” because travel business and passengers are already struggling with current economic climate and volatile fuel prices.

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