West Law Report

Duty increase is lawful

Posted in Times Law Report by mrkooenglish on September 3, 2008

From The TimesAugust 28, 2008

Duty increase is lawful
Court of Appeal
Published August 28, 2008
Regina (Federation of Tour Operators and Others) v HM Treasury and Others

The doubling of air passenger duty at seven weeks’ notice was not unlawful.

The Court of Appeal(Lord Justice Waller, Lord Justice Buxton and Lady Justice Smith) so stated on July 2, 2008, when dismissing an appeal by the Federation of Tour Operators, Tui UK Ltd and Kuoni Travel Ltd against the refusal by Mr Justice Stanley Burnton in the Queen’s Bench Division (The Times October 9, 2007, to refuse an application for judicial review of a decision by the Treasury to refuse to postpone or modify the introduction of the increase of air passenger duty under section 12 of the Finance Act 2007.

LORD JUSTICE WALLER said that the air passenger duty should be seen as a tax on flight operators by reference to the passengers they carried.

Having decided to introduce such a tax as from a certain date and on discovering that in respect of passengers prebooking through tour operators the tax burden would fall on those operators, the decision not to exempt those passengers did not place an individual and excessive burden on tour operators such as to render the decision devoid of reasonable foundation.

It was an entirely understandable decision not to exempt only those passengers who had pre-booked through tour operators.

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