Removal of Air Passenger Duty for Under-12s Does Little to Solve the Parent Trap
Travelzoo interviews 2,000 UK Parents to Assess Impact of 1st May Tax Removal for Children’s Flights
As the Coalition Government battles for the hearts and minds of UK families in the run-up to next week’s General Election, Travelzoo’s Parent Trap study reveals that the Chancellor’s May 1st removal of Air Passenger Duty (APD) for under-12s does very little to make holidays more affordable for UK families.
Just 14 per cent of UK families said they would be more likely to stick to agreed school holiday dates because of removal of tax on children’s flights – rendering the Chancellor’s gesture to families relatively ineffective in ending the Parent Trap.
In last December’s Autumn Statement George Osborne attempted to extend the olive branch to the travel industry and UK families, who have been lobbying the government to remove the deeply unpopular tax on flying – the highest form of aviation tax in the world. However, as Travelzoo’s research revealed today shows, both the industry and UK parents feel the gesture does not go far enough.
Travelzoo has been campaigning for an end to what it calls the Parent Trap: the toxic combination of 1) the introduction of fines for families who take children on holiday during term time (introduced in September 2013 by former Education Secretary Michael Gove); 2) the highest flight tax in the world and 3) the resulting increasing pressure on holiday pricing due to the shorter windows when families can travel.
Travelzoo lodged a petition in July 2013 asking for the removal of APD for all UK passengers during the school holiday period.
Travelzoo’s European managing director, Richard Singer explains: “We started fighting the Parent Trap in 2013 as we feel very strongly that UK families are unfairly penalised for the simple desire to enjoy quality time on holiday. The toxic combination of the school fines, unfair taxation on flights and the peak pricing structure continue to make holidays out of reach for millions of UK families.
“As part of addressing this issue we urged the government to reward parents who stick to school holiday dates by removing APD for the whole family. Our research shows that removing APD for just the under-12s does not go far enough as 86% of families would not be incentivised to stick to approved holiday dates because of the tax relief for their children’s flights.”
Travelzoo’s research also showed that nearly one in four UK families would still be prepared to risk the controversial school fines in spite of the APD removal, however a quarter of people said they would consider sticking to term dates if the tax was to be removed for the entire party travelling.”
Singer concluded: “We know from talking to UK parents that often members of the extended family come along – grandparents for example. To remove APD for all passengers could start to make a real impact, and would encourage a quarter of UK parents to keep children in school during term time. This goes to show that nibbling at the edges of the problem – as the Chancellor has done – has little benefit to anyone and risks looking like an empty gesture.”
For further information, to request an interview or for the complete data from the Travelzoo Parent Trap study please contact Laura Higgins on email@example.com
* This survey was conducted by independent third party, OnePoll, who polled 2000 UK parents in April 2015.
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