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Air passenger duty scrapped for children as part of George Osborne’s autumn statement

PUBLISHED: 06:30 04 December 2014 | UPDATED: 14:39 05 December 2014

Andrew Bell, chief executive at Norwich International Airport.  Photo: Bill Smith

Andrew Bell, chief executive at Norwich International Airport. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2012

The chance for cheaper holidays was confirmed in yesterday’s autumn statement, with air passenger duty scrapped for children under 12.

George Osborne promised the duty would be abolished from economy tickets for children under 12 in May next year, and for children under 16 in March 2016.

The chancellor had already promised to cut the highest band of tax on long-haul flights from next year, limiting the levy to £71 per passenger worldwide from 2015, cutting £26 per person from a flight fare to Australia or New Zealand.

Tracy Douglas, regional manager of Norfolk-based agent the Travel Centre, on Reepham Road, in Hellesdon, near Norwich, welcomed the move. She said: “It is great news for consumers, for travel agents and travel companies themselves. It could mean people can afford to go on holiday again.”

But Andrew Bell, chief executive at Norwich International Airport said that although it was a positive decision, it did not go far enough.

He said: “Anything that makes the cost of a holiday for families less expensive is to be welcomed.

“Unfortunately though, today’s announcement won’t change the fact that air passenger duty in its current form is stifling regional economic recovery.

“Reducing air passenger duty for all passengers, particularly for passengers travelling on domestic flights who are subjected to double taxation on a return flight, will remove a significant barrier to economic growth in the UK regions”.

But one holidaymaker welcomed the news. Anna-Marie Moody, 31, of Willow Grove in Dereham, said holidays with her three-year-old son Seth woulx be less expensive.

“At the moment we have only been on relatively short-haul flights but if it is cheaper then we would consider going further afield,” she said.

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