Aviation: Passenger Duty — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:45 pm on 23rd January 2012.

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Photo of Lord Sassoon Lord Sassoon The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury 2:45 pm, 23rd January 2012

My Lords, in the current economic climate, air passenger duty is clearly a burden on all businesses whether in the Caribbean, the UK, or wherever else they are based. That is why we had a one-year freeze, although it is right that aviation should make a fair contribution. However a banding structure works, it is bound to have anomalies. It is the case, as many noble Lords will know, that because the banding works in essence on where the capital city is, the anomalies are indeed there, as my noble friend says, but whenever there are bandings there will be anomalies. We listened to the case that was made very well by the Caribbean authorities, including the tourist organisation, during our full consultation last year. We have no plans to make any further changes, other than those set out in the response to the consultation, but I hear very clearly what my noble friend says about how challenging the situation remains.