Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group has joined a national campaign to reduce aviation taxation, describing it as a “disincentive” to exporting and investment.
Air Passenger Duty (APD) is a tax on air passengers based on the distance between London and their destination’s capital city.
APD on flights to the USA – the West midlands single largest trading partner – has increased by 225 per cent in six years.
APD’s standard rate is now 7.5 times the average of other countries in Europe which still levy a charge and is now so high that the Treasury will collect more than twice as much in passenger taxes this year (£2.5 billion) than the total of all other European countries combined (£1.172 billion).
Increases in APD are predicted to cost to the economy £100 billion by 2030.
Chamber president Michael Ward said: “APD is damaging British businesses and sending the absolute wrong message to investors and exporters and acts as a disincentive.
“Brazil, India, Mexico and China have Growth rates that European finance ministers dream of and yet APD penalises businesses who need to fly to these countries to establish trade links and export their goods.
“Our businesses are operating in an ever more competitive and hostile international market yet APD stacks the deck in favour of our competitors.
“If we are truly serious about an export-led recovery then we need to get real on APD as at the moment the only beneficiaries are our rivals in Germany and the rest of Europe.”