|Australia's air tax: Economically destructive and totally counter-productive.|
Friday, 20th September 2013
Source : World Travel & Tourism Council
The incoming Australian government must take steps to reduce the tax burden on airline passengers in order to promote job creation and economic prosperity.
Speaking recently in Sydney, David Scowsill, President & CEO, of the World Travel & Tourism Council called on whichever party wins the election on 7 September to reconsider the amount which it takes from air travellers in the form of the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC).
“Australia’s PMC is among the most regressive in the world of Travel & Tourism”, Scowsill said (right). “It bears no relation to distance covered, so cannot be considered environmentally legitimate. Neither is the revenue income put back into aviation infrastructure, so it cannot be considered as contributing to the growth of the industry in any way. Instead, it is a general tax that simply discourages Travel & Tourism from Australia.”
Australia’s passenger movement charge (PMC) was introduced in 1995 and, like Air Passenger Duty in the United Kingdom, has risen on many occasions to stand currently at A$55 for every international passenger.
Scowsill explained the problem with the PMC: “Australia is an island trading nation which relies upon air links for its economic prosperity. Taxing air travel naturally switches off demand from both business and leisure travellers alike. Air taxes, such as the PMC, are economically destructive and totally counter-productive.”
Scowsill made the comparison with Australia’s other sectors: “The country’s mining sector has traditionally been the key focus by Government, which contributes 13% of Australia’s GDP. Yet Travel & Tourism contributes overall a comparable 10% of GDP , but does yet is treated like a second-class citizen. It is time that Travel & Tourism was an equal partner in the economic development of Australia”.