Richard Branson brands air tax a 'disgrace'

Ruth Doherty
Richard Branson brands air tax a ' disgrace'
Richard Branson brands air tax a ' disgrace'

Branson near his private Caribbean resort, Necker Island. Photo: PA

Richard Branson has branded the level of taxation through Air Passenger Duty on holidaymakers to the Caribbean a 'disgrace'.

He revealed that Virgin were working hard to get the level reduced, and said that any further increase in APD would be 'ridiculous'.

Branson told Travel Weekly: 'The Caribbean shouldn't be penalised. People here are incredibly angry. Realistically, the only way to get to the Caribbean is by plane - you can't drive or go by train.

'Put a tax on flights where there's an alternative mode of transport, but not where flying is the only option.

'If the Government is in any way interested in the environment, then I hope that logic will prevail. I hope it will come down in the Caribbean.'

Although Chancellor George Osborne froze APD in March, it is thought there will be a substantial increase next April, in a bid to meet Government targets.

A recent Telegraph report says it is looking to raise £3.6 billion from Air Passenger Duty in 2015-16, compared with £2.2 billion in the current financial year, meaning the tax will have to be pushed up to just over 24% for the Treasury to meet its target.