Tax bill for UK holidays reaches £3.1bn as calls grow for government to slash air passenger duty

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Taxes are taking off for UK holidaymakers (Source: Getty)

The treasury is set to rake in £3.1bn this year from British holidaymakers, according to new calculations by the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA).

Air passenger duty (APD) alone is expected to generate £911m during 2017, an average of £22 for every traveller.

The research coincides with a renewed call from the TPA to scrap APD.

Read more: Brexit is a chance to reboot Britain’s convoluted tax code

"It is clear that Air Passenger Duty is just another way for the taxman to squeeze every penny out of hard-pressed families," commented John O'Connell, chief executive of the TPA. "We are calling on the Government to give Brits a break and scrap this unfair tax once and for all."

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of airline trade body Airlines UK, expressed concern about how well British businesses will be able to compete after Brexit if APD remains in place.

"The Treasury should be upfront about why this levy has been allowed to rise to its current level when competitor countries are busy cutting or abolishing their respective aviation taxes," he said.

"With Brexit still to happen it also sends a terrible signal about the UK being open to the world – companies wanting to strike deals and venture to new markets overseas will be unable to do so if routes out of UK airports are unviable owing to our increasingly uncompetitive tax regime."

Read more: Two thirds of millennials now decide on their holidays using Instagram

The additional tax costs on holiday consisted of insurance premium tax paid on travel insurance and VAT on pre-holiday shopping items.

Shopping made up most of the total, coming in at £2.1bn. The TPA calculated that Brits would spend an average of £238.75 each on purchases for their getaways, £47.75 of the total being VAT. The representative basket of goods likely to be purchased before departure included flip flops, sun cream and a sarong.

The total estimated tax on holiday insurance is £60m.

This summer has seen record numbers of UK holidaymakers travelling by air as Heathrow recorded its best month yet as in July, and budget airlines EasyJet and Ryanair reported increased numbers of summer passengers.

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