Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Straight Drive Is to the Point: Our Getting through; Number 10 Gets Message on Campaign

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Straight Drive Is to the Point: Our Getting through; Number 10 Gets Message on Campaign

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Jupp

CALLS on the Government to scrap plans to hike aviation taxes are gathering pace.

The Journal launched its 'A Tax Too Far' campaign to urge Downing Street to re-think proposed hikes in Air Passenger Duty (APD) in November and again next year.

The increases will mean customers will be paying four times as much tax as they were three years ago and it is feared that will lead to plummeting passenger numbers.

Business leaders told of their concerns vital routes in and out of the region could be lost as a result, which could deliver a devastating blow to the North East economy. And aviation chiefs told how it could scupper our chances of securing future services to destinations like New York, with airlines put off from taking a gamble on the region in case punters are priced out of buying tickets.

As we launched our campaign, we called on you to show your support by adding your name to an online petition, which states: "We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to reconsider its intention to more than double Airline Passenger Duty (APD) in 2010."

And in the space of less than a week since our drive was launched, more than 1,000 extra names have been added to the petition.

There are now 10,627 people who have backed the call, which has been welcomed by airport chiefs. Newcastle International head of planning and corporate affairs Graeme Mason said: "The campaign has certainly had an immediate effect.

"We have been watching the petition against the APD raises on the Downing Street website for some time. In the past week the number of signatories has climbed more than a thousand to 10,600, a rise of 10%.

"I really would urge anyone that is concerned about these tax rises to sign up to the petition or show your support in some other way, such as writing to your MP or to the government. …

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