ABTA has published a blog post from chief executive Mark Tanzer, addressing members on what the association has asked of the government ahead of next week’s Budget.
On Wednesday next week, the Chancellor will deliver his plans to support the UK economy in recovering from the Covid crisis. Last month, ABTA wrote to him outlining the support needed for the travel industry to get back on its feet.
“In our submission we asked the Chancellor to use next week’s Budget to:
- Provide an update on the additional £1.5bn to provide targeted support for businesses which have been unable to benefit from the existing business rates relief. This was originally announced on 25 March 2021 but the support has yet to be made available
- Urge local authorities to prioritise travel businesses for financial support under the Additional Restrictions Grant funding – with £300m left unspent, councils need to make sure that travel agents and tour operators are getting this much-needed funding
- Provide tailored financial support for the travel sector in the form of specific recovery grants for travel agents, tour operators and other businesses dependent on international travel.”
ABTA also stressed the importance of the right taxation framework for the industry’s recovery.
“Several of our members have reported concerns with plans to increase corporation tax to 25 per cent from 2023, especially with the industry on a much slower recovery trajectory,” wrote Tanzer. “ABTA has also supported wider calls for reform to the current business rates system.”
The blog also outlined the role of APD in the industry’s recovery.
“Over the last year and a half, we have seen cuts to VAT to benefit the domestic tourism sector, but these cuts have no impact on companies selling package holidays or on the outbound travel sector,” wrote Tanzer.
“APD is the only comparable measure that HM Treasury has at its disposal. ABTA supports a short-term reduction in this tax to boost recovery, but also continues to highlight the need for fundamental reform to deliver a more environmentally efficient regime.”
Finally, he spoke of the upcoming COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.
“We recognise the importance of Governments around the world coming together to reduce carbon emissions,” Tanzer wrote.
“As a Member of Sustainable Aviation, ABTA is asking the UK Government to work in partnership with the industry, through the Jet Zero Council, to deliver the policy framework, including airspace modernisation and investment in sustainable aviation fuels, that will be necessary to reach the Government’s carbon-reduction target.”