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Caribbean to benefit from adjusted UK Air Passenger Duty

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  • Caribbean to benefit from adjusted UK Air Passenger Duty

    The United Kingdom has made adjustments to the contentious Airline Passenger Duty (APD) which will be to the advantage of Caribbean destinations that have long complained about the discriminatory nature of the measure and its impact on their tourism arrival figures.

    UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne announced in his annual budget presentation to the House of Commons on Wednesday that the Caribbean has been put into the same band for the duty as the United States. This means that passengers traveling from Britain to Caribbean destinations will now pay the lower rate of duty, which has long applied to those traveling to the United States.

    This comes as welcome news for Caribbean countries which have been lobbying for the change over several years.

    Jamaica led the way in having the issue placed on the agenda of the last Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference, on behalf of the region.

    Under the adjusted policy, economy class passengers will pay a £71 tax on all long-haul tickets and a £142 charge on seats in premium cabins. This will be significantly down from the equivalent rates this year of up to £97 in economy and £194 in premium class.
    The Chancellor conceded that the existing system is “crazy”, highlighting the fact that passengers currently pay less for travelling to Hawaii than to China or India.
    “It hits exports, puts off tourists and creates a great sense of injustice among our Caribbean and South Asian Communities here in Britain,” he said.
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