Lib Dem and Tory manifestos offer little for travel industry

By Travel Gossip Reporters
12/06/2024
Home » Lib Dem and Tory manifestos offer little for travel industry

Travel bosses have little to celebrate after the launch of the first two General Election manifestos from mainstream parties.

While the Liberal Democrats have pledged to shift the tax burden on flights to frequent fliers such as business travellers and ditch future airport expansion in London among a string of green policies, the Conservative document virtually ignores the industry completely.

Launched yesterday (11 June), the 80-page Tory manifesto has just a brief promise to ‘rule out further green levies’ such as road pricing or a new frequent flier tax. However, it makes no mention of APD or existing charges on travellers.

The only other mention for travel comes in the form of already-unveiled plans to invest in Northern Powerhouse rail and boost Midlands rail connectivity via savings from HS2. Elsewhere, the Tories promised to ‘back’ the development of British Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs), although no details of what this entails are included.

Meanwhile, the Lib Dems set out a more complete agenda for travel when launching their manifesto on Monday (10 June). It set out ‘five missions’ to reform aviation policy, each with a carbon-reduction focus.

Plans also included a proposed ‘super tax’ on private flights, the banning of short domestic flights that could otherwise be replaced by train travel, and the potential introduction of VAT on private flights, first- and business-class fares. New laws would also force airlines to produce emissions data for domestic flights compared with the equivalent rail journey at point of booking.

Despite the new and increased charges on flying, the Lib Dems said taxes could fall for the majority of consumers, since they only typically take one or two flights each year.

The Green Party launched its manifesto this morning and Labour, SNP, Reform and Plaid Cymru UK will launch theirs later this week.

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