By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Air Passenger Duty on flights originating in the United Kingdom continues to rise, despite significant opposition from the Caribbean region and the UK tourism industry.
Following the announcement by British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne that the APD would increase again, Grenada Tourism Minister Alexandra Otway-Noel said she was “disappointed,” with the APD rising in the face of serious lobbying done by Caribbean tourism officials.
“The tax is keeping families apart,” she said in a statement. ”
The Caribbean has charged that the banded tax, which levies different amounts of tax depending on the distance traveled, disproportionately impacts flights to the Caribbean.
“We understand that the British Government has a right to tax its citizens but all the Caribbean Region is asking for is a level playing field, so that we can compete,” Otway-Noel said. “The APD tax was originally implemented as an environmental levy and the banding structure is based on that. All we ask is that the tax be standardized.”
She said the proposed rise of the APD would negatively impact the Caribbean and was a cause for concern for “every Caribbean destination.”