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Lobby for APD ease

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Lobby for APD ease

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Caribbean diplomats in the United Kingdom (UK) are gearing up to lobby the British government for an ease in the airline passenger duty (APD), a tax which Caribbean countries say seriously affect their tourism industries.
Tourism and International Transport Minister Richard Sealy said Caribbean diplomats have secured £40 000 to assist them in this effort.
Sealy, who recently visited the United Kingdom to the UK to meet with stakeholders in the tourism industry, said the funds were sourced from a UK-based Jamaican Building Society to assist the High Commissioners in their fight.
He also said the APD Steering Group of which Barbados’ High Commissioner was a member, was fully on board with the initiative.
“High Commissioner (Hugh) Arthur is fully engaged along with the High Commissioners from the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Lucia, among others, who are definitely keen and re-energised to engage the British Government. They will also be a £40 000 public campaign as part of the effort,” he added.
The APD, instituted in 1994, is a British environmental tax aimed at offsetting aviation’s carbon footprint. In its initial stage, it was set at £5 (US$7.85) per person.