The cost of air passenger duty (APD) doubles from today amid claims that the increase is a ‘constitutional outrage’.
Tory MP Christopher Chope (Christchurch) said the rise in the ‘stealth tax’ had not been approved by Parliament.
The decision to double air passenger duty from today was announced by Gordon Brown in his pre-budget report on 6 December, eight weeks before it was due to take effect.
Raising the issue in a point of order in the House of Commons, Mr Chope said: ‘This tax increase has not been approved by Parliament and is not covered by any resolution of Parliament.
‘It is indeed without precedent, as has been confirmed by the Treasury committee. It is nothing short of a constitutional outrage.’
Storm of protest
The move to double APD provoked a storm of protest from the airlines – most of which chose to pass on the increase to passengers who had already bought tickets from February onwards.
The increase will mean a rise from £5 to £10 for economy-seat passengers on domestic and European routes, with the APD rising from £20 to £40 for economy-seat travellers on long-haul flights.
Business and first class passengers will face bills of £40 for short-haul flights and £80 for long-haul.