UK ‘green tax’ unfair

| 22/02/2009

(CNS): The UK government is planning to introduce a higher airport departure tax on visitors to the Caribbean than the tax paid by British visitors to some other major destinations. In November 2009 the airport departure tax on flights to the Caribbean is due to increase by between 25% and 87%, depending upon the class of travel. In November 2010 those increases will reach as high as 94%. However, industry leaders are joining Caribbean governments to protest the move.

Tourism Minister Charles Clifford told CNS, "The Cayman Islands, by virtue of our membership in the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, is one of the many Caribbean countries that have objected to the UK Government’s plans to increase travel tax for visitors to the Caribbean. We believe that this proposal by the UK Government is discriminatory and must be strenuously objected to."

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling will announce increases in air passenger duty (APD) on Wednesday in response to calls to tackle emissions linked to global warming, including a major review of climate change policy by the former head of British Airways, Sir Rod Eddington, which concluded the aviation industry accounts for 1.6% of greenhouse gas emissions and will rise to 2.5% by 2050 if left unchecked.

Objectors say the new “green tax” on long-haul flights, which is calculated according to the distance of destinations’ capital cities from London, unfairly targets the Caribbean since travellers to the region will be paying more than travellers to some destinations that are further from Britain. For example, there will be less departure tax to the whole of the US, including Hawaii, even though the distance to much of the country is greater than to the Caribbean islands.

Minister Harold Lovell, chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), speaking on behalf of the many Caribbean governments, has said, "Our countries’ economies are hugely dependent on tourism. But the British government plans to place us in a more expensive tax category compared to the whole of the USA. This puts us at a considerable disadvantage. To suggest this is a green tax and that the environmental impact of flying to California or Hawaii is less then flying to the Caribbean is patently untrue. Ourholidaymakers and the overseas friends and relatives of Caribbean nationals who live in Britain are being heavily penalised and our countries call on Britain to do the right thing and change this injustice."

The CTO is also supporting appeals made by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the British travel industry to change the tax plans. The Association of British Travel Agents and the industry trade paper Travel Trade Gazette (TTG) have launched an online petition on the Downing Street website and more than 2,000 protests have already been registered.

A family of four travelling premium economy to Antigua would pay £600 in APD from November 2010, compared with £480 to Hawaii, notes TTG and quotes Ricky Skerritt, St Kitts and Nevis tourism minister, as saying, “This is an attack on the Caribbean and it has the potential to hurt us. When APD emerged it was about pushing airlines to become more environmentally friendly. The Caribbean is one of the most environmentally friendly places in the world. We have no carbon deficit, no factories and no heavy industry.”

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is lobbying the government to get the system changed in this spring’s budget before the rules come into force in November. Development director Andy Cooper has called for the system to be changed to three bands – 0 to 2,500 miles, 2,500 to 5,000 miles, and 5,000 miles and above – and calculated purely on distance rather than by capital cities.

 

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Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    excellent idea & i’ll be happy to pay it – the future climate of the planet is priceless! 

    • Anonymous says:

      "excellent idea & i’ll be happy to pay it – the future climate of the planet is priceless!"

      You have clearly got more money than sense. 

      You only have to say the magic words "global warming" and some people fall all over themselves to pay through the nose without asking any questions.   

  2. whodatis says:

    Hello folks – its me again…

    I am now providing you with links to a few enlightening documentaries on the "global warming" tax $$$ generating / 3rd world crippling scam!!

    I guarantee you will be amazed at what you learn. You will also be perplexed as to why you have never heard of or seen such programs on your television at home. All the answers to your questions can be found within these 2 videos.

    Please watch:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7222900952011147196&ei=z-aiSeWqMIPg2gKJkt2ODg&q=global+warming+swindle

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3309910462407994295&ei=cOaiSfKLHYPg2gKJkt2ODg&q=global+warming

    Now you have the knowledge and as one should always do – please pass it on to a friend or loved one.

    (One last word of advice – please DO NOT rely on television or American/British/European media (inherently corrupted & complicit) to guide your beliefs or convictions on such important issues.

    The INTERNET = KNOWLEDGE (UNBIASED) = POWER…use it!!)

  3. Anonymous says:

    If the aviation industry only accounts for 1.6% of greenhouse emissions, why is it being targeted so heavily?  Who benefits from the airport departure tax? Where does the money go and how does it reduce global warming?  More to the point, who or what is responsible for the other 98.4%….

    I am inclined to agree with ‘whodatis’  – global warming is being used as an excuse to introduce new forms of taxation.

  4. Battyman says:

    There is one rule applied to all countries on the same basis – distance to the capital city.  I don’t see what the fuss is about.  Air travel is about the most polluting thing we do as consumers.  Discouraging long haul holiday flights is an important part of a sensible environmental policy.  We should commend the UK government for their commitment to environmental policies.

    • Anonymous says:

      Battyman,

      I think you need to read the article again, in particular this paragraph.

      "Objectors say the new “green tax” on long-haul flights, which is calculated according to the distance of destinations’ capital cities from London, unfairly targets the Caribbean since travellers to the region will be paying more than travellers to some destinations that are further from Britain. For example, there will be less departure tax to the whole of the US, including Hawaii, even though the distance to much of the country is greater than to the Caribbean islands".

      In other words, Battyman, for the U.S. they are calculating it based on distance of Washington D.C. (not the capital city of the relevant state) from London, not Hawaii or Los Angeles as the case may be. These are a lot further away than we are. Got it?

       

       

  5. Anonymous says:

    Another corporate monopoly! Already persons traveling to or from  none US destinations are forced to pay one and a half times the fare that they would pay if they had a US visa and could travel via USA. All thanks to the only  London <> Cayman  route being monopolized by British Airways. The only hope is competition from another airline such as Virgin.

  6. whodatis says:

    GLOBAL WARMING IS A SCAM!!!

    People, please, please wake up and se what is going on!

    STOP reading scare-mongering headlines and watching propaganda films!!

    Look at the actual scientific data and research and see for yourself that this entire theory of "global warming caused by carbon emissions" is an absolute falsity!!

    "Global warming" is simply a new way to charge a new TAX! Solar activity is what truly determines the average temperature of the earth.

    To those of you who think I crazy just please do a bit of research for yourself – more and more climatologists are refuting this crazy notion known as "global warming"! The scientists that do actually go along with this scam are blinded are corrupted by the grant $$$ they receive to "research" every little thing about this new scary phenomenon – for example, "The effects of Global Warming on the Amazonian Ladybug"

    Just 2 weeks ago the UK suffered it harshest winter in 30 years! It was snowing in MADRID, SPAIN last month! Didn’t American states like Arizona & New Mexico receive snow this year as well?! (This is not my basis for refuting the theory-but just make the comparison of the news propaganda whenever there is a hot summer day in your town of residence!!)

    This whole thing drives me absolutely insane but now it is arrived in my backyard and I fear it is too late – simply because the majority of the people reading this right now is snickering to themselves and thinking…

    "He’s a global warming DENIER …he must be crazy…doesn’t he read the papers and watch the news…Al Gore said so, and won the Nobel Prize!?"

    People..wake up – please! Quit being pawns for big world governments and lastly – do not be afraid – the world is NOT melting into a big ball of jelly.

    SHEEP + PEOPLE = "SHEEPLE"

    Are you one?

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is insane! Well, for those of you trumpeting the case that the UK is a model of non-discrimination what do you have to say to this one? The justification is as specious as it gets. 

    Perhaps the answer is that we all fly Virgin to Miami and then Cayman Airways home. When it pinches BA in particular then they will get the idea.