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UK To Cut APD On Flights To Caribbean

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
24 March, 2014

The United Kingdom's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced a reform of the Air Passenger Duty (APD) in his budget speech on March 19, 2014.

"From next year, all long haul flights will carry the same, lower, band B tax rate that you now pay to fly to the United States," the Chancellor said.

Currently the APD on flights to Hawaii is lower than on flights to the Caribbean, even though Hawaii is 3,000 miles further away from London. Mr Osborne said this "crazy system...hits exports, puts off tourists and creates a great sense of injustice among our Caribbean and South Asian communities here in Britain."

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) welcomed Osborne's announcement. "This is a complete victory for the Caribbean, which, led by the CTO, has been lobbying against the unfair system which charged a higher rate of APD on flights to Barbados than Hawaii and placed the United States at a competitive advantage," Chairman Beverly Nicholson-Doty said. "We will now proceed to examine all the implications of this very positive development and advise our members accordingly," she added.

According to the CTO, since the APD was introduced in 2009 the Caribbean has experienced a 12 percent drop in the number of visitors from the UK.

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