British Air Passenger Duty Disgracefully Discriminates

April first is known internationally as April Fool’s Day, when it is customary to play tricks on people.

Sadly for anyone wishing to travel to the United Kingdom from 1st April, 2012 the British Government has played the worst trick of all on travellers by increasing the rates on their insidious Air Passenger Duty, making it much more expensive to fly to and from the UK. Even those who had booked and paid for tickets well in advance of that date were expected to pay the extra charges.

As with most taxes the Air Passenger Duty is reasonably difficult to explain. Basically, it is an excise duty, which is a polite word for tax, that is charged to passengers who are flying on an aircraft which has an authorised take-off weight of 10 tonnes or more and can seat 20 passengers or more. The tax now takes distance into account so that those who fly the longer routes pay a much higher tax than those who fly shorter routes, and this is where it is discriminatory.

The distance used to calculate the new rate of tax is from London to the Capital City of the destination country of the flight. Which may be fine if you a flying to a puny country the size of England, but it is highly discriminatory if you are flying to a large country the size of Canada, U.S.A, China, Brazil or Australia where the distance between the capital city and other major cities can be several thousand air miles.

Britain only controls the airspace above its landmass and for some distance across water, so the government should have no right to impose a tax from flying over other countries airspace or, in the case of long haul flights, over oceans that are not controlled by any particular country.

So these bigoted bureaucratic British buffoons are imposing a tax on people for flying over areas for which the British Government has no entitlement and no responsibility. The sun has well and truly set on the British Empire, it’s a pity the British Government hasn’t realised that fact.

One of the most galling aspects about the APD is that Britain is already an astonishingly expensive place to visit; both in terms of cost of accommodation and cost of travel. When you factor in the level of service and friendliness, it is simply appalling.

Many people who work in the tourism industries are decrying the new APD rates as being very unfair and a threat to the tourism Industry in Britain which could cost an estimated loss of 91,000 tourism jobs and £4.2 billion revenue. Unless you really need to fly to Britain for business of family reasons, I’d suggest you find other destinations, particularly countries which value the income that you as a tourist will want to spend there.

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