Parliament to be Lobbied Against the "Parent Trap" of Expensive Holidays
Richard Singer, the European Managing Director of Travelzoo, the UK’s leading online travel deals company, and a father of one, has initiated a personal e-petition to parliament against what he calls the "Parent Trap" of government legislation, taxes and tour-operator price hiking during school holidays.
This month, amendments to The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 mean that head teachers now have greater powers to deny leave requests. The amendments ‘make clear that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances’* and references to ‘family holiday’ and the statutory threshold of ten school days have been removed from the 2006 directive. Fines for taking children out of school now have shorter payment times, so parents will have to pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days.
The strict new regulations are creating extra pressure on parents as holiday prices rise dramatically during school breaks so Richard Singer has enlisted travel industry partners and Travelzoo’s 3.4 million UK members to help the e-petition reach the magic 100,000 signatures that will trigger a debate in the House of Commons by the Backbench Business Committee. Since announcing the campaign last month, over 24,000 people have signed the petition.
The e-petition aims to fight the 'Parent Trap' of expensive family holidays and calls upon the British government to temporarily suspend APD for the two-month summer family-holiday period to relieve the financial challenge facing British families.
Richard Singer said: "I really want to fight the Parent Trap. British families, through no fault of their own, cannot enjoy or increasingly cannot afford to take an annual summer holiday together because of the combined impact of restrictive legislation on taking children out of school, increasing taxation on travel through APD and the annual price hikes during school holiday dates. Both personally and in a professional capacity I feel that there must be a more creative solution to solving what we are calling the 'Parent Trap' on family holidays."
Singer continued: “It’s time for a proper debate on the subject and I am urging parents and teachers alike to sign the petition to get the subject discussed in parliament. There are so many options out there to help families out, from flexible holiday periods to leveling price structures and indeed our call to suspend or reduce APD during school summer holiday weeks. We know the current situation is making it increasingly difficult for families to be able to spend quality time together on holiday, so action is most definitely needed.”
A recent survey by Travelzoo revealed that over 70% of families would be put off booking their summer holiday during the peak summer months as the cost is on average 40% higher than at other times of the year. The survey also revealed that 80% of families feel they are being penalised by the travel industry through the annual price hikes during peak season.**
Travelzoo is urging subscribers to sign up to the e-petition through a social-media campaign and push across their email publications and website. To sign the petition, click here and follow #fighttheparenttrap on twitter.
Travelzoo is a global media commerce company. With more than 28 million members in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific and 26 offices worldwide, Travelzoo® publishes offers from more than 2,000 travel, entertainment and local companies. Travelzoo’s deal experts review offers to find the best deals and confirm their true value.
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