Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Politicians Back Call to Cancel Tax Rises; Council Chiefs Support Air Duty Campaign

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Politicians Back Call to Cancel Tax Rises; Council Chiefs Support Air Duty Campaign

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Jupp

COUNCIL leaders have thrown their weight behind The Journal campaign to protect the region's air services by scrapping plans to raise aviation taxes.

The Government is set to increase Air Passenger Duty (APD) in November and again in 2010, which would mean it is four times as high as it was three years ago. The increases will mean some family holidays will be more than pounds 300 more expensive, while individual tickets for business travellers or holidaymakers could cost around pounds 40 more.

It is anticipated this will have an impact on passenger numbers, which could lead to airlines pulling the plug on vital routes from the region.

APD is touted as a green tax and while politicians in the region recognise the need for aviation to pay for the pollution it causes, they say the fact that the UK is the only nation with such a duty puts our airports at a competitive disadvantage.

Leader of South Tyneside Council Coun Iain Malcolm, said: "I wholeheartedly support The Journal campaign. Newcastle Airport and the air services it provides are critically important to the regional economy and I am concerned at the possible effects these tax rises will have.

"As our region comes out of recession we should be doing things that help recovery not hinder it. I know my concerns are shared across the region so I will be taking them up with ministers at the earliest opportunity."

North Tyneside Elected Mayor Linda Arkley said: "This campaign has my full backing. Air Passenger Duty will hit individuals and businesses at a time when, because of the economic recession, they need as much help as possible. It''s vitally important that North Tyneside and the wider region retains the excellent transport links that support inward investment.

Anything which places these routes at risk has to be a concern. …

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