Report says airport duty is 'damaging'
A STUDY commissioned by four major airlines claims that scrapping airport passenger duty would create almost 60,000 new jobs.
Budget airline Ryanair, the largest operator at East Midlands Airport, along with British Airways, Easyjet and Virgin, asked accountants and business advisers PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to analyse the economic impact of the tax.
It found that, as well as creating tens of thousands of jobs, the abolition of the duty could result in a net tax gain for the treasury.
Dublin-based Ryanair has been highly critical of the tax, with chief executive Michael O'Leary claiming UK regional airport traffic and jobs were "collapsing" as a result of the duty.
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PwC says abolishing the tax would pay for itself by increasing revenues from other sources, such as income tax and VAT.
It says the duty was regarded as a tax on exports and was "at least as damaging to the UK economy, and probably more so, than corporation tax or fuel duty".