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Air Passenger Duty Increase Illegal, Say Tories

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

01 February 2007


The UK Conservative party argued on Wednesday that the rise in Air Passenger Duty, which comes into force today, is illegal.

The new APD rates are as follows:

  • Short haul economy (and domestic) flights: GBP10
  • Short haul business class flights (including domestic): GBP20
  • Long haul economy flights: GBP40
  • Long haul business and first class flights: GBP80

The Tories argued that, according to an independent legal opinion:

"Gordon Brown's increase, announced at the pre-Budget report, is proven to be illegal because the increase in the Duty will be implemented before any Orders or Resolutions have been passed through Parliament."

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne went on to add that:

"Gordon Brown fails to understand that to get support for new green taxes they should be offset by cuts in other taxes. Gordon Brown's own track record on raising taxes should also indicate that all changes in taxation should be competently introduced."

"Tomorrow's increase in Air Passenger Duty fails on both counts - it is an additional tax that adds to the already high cost of living and the rising tax burden; and because of the way it has been introduced retrospectively the increase has caused confusion and may even be illegal. Indeed the legal opinion we've received says there is no legal basis to collect the increase in tax."


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