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Brown taxes flights to the skies

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07/12/2006

Gordon Brown has announced that taxes on outgoing flights from the UK will double, a move particularly affecting families who may have to look for cheap travel insurance to compensate for the rise.

In most cases the increase in the tax means a jump to £10. But long-haul flights that go beyond the European Economic Area will attract taxes of up to £80, meaning that a family of four going to Disneyland in Florida, for example, now face stumping up £160 rather than the current £80, providing a strong incentive to compare travel insurance policies. If they decide to upgrade to the more comfortable ‘premium economy’ class, their tax will increase still further to £320.

Business travellers too will be hit by the move, which has attracted a lot of flak from the airlines. British Airways was incensed by the measure. “Air Passenger Duty is an extremely blunt instrument to use on the already hard-pressed commercial sector and will have an adverse impact on UK investment,” said a spokesperson. 

“Taxing hard-working families and British businesses like this is not the way address climate change. This is revenue-raising pure and simple and is treating air passengers as the equivalent of cash cows.”  

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