Take VAT targets Leeds/Bradford airportTagged as: economic_crisis environmentalism
Protestors descend on Leeds/Bradford Airport in solidarity with protests at Heathrow
Around 20 protesters targeted Leeds/Bradford airport today in a protest about tax avoidance. The protesters made their journey by bus but were stopped by police as soon as they arrived at the airport. Many made a run for the terminal and a few scuffles with police broke out. Eventually they managed to sit down together to make their point heard outside the main terminal building.
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In London, one-hundred campaigners descended upon terminal 3 at Heathrow Airport to highlight the fact that the aviation industry pays no VAT. In a protest modelled on those recently seen at Oxford Street stores like Vodaphone and Top Shop, activists from Plane Stupid and other direct action groups ran around terminal 3 ‘confiscating’ items.
The campaigners symbolically ‘confiscated’ items such as luggage trolleys and toilet roll, to highlight the fact that there is no VAT on airline tickets, the purchase of planes or on spare parts for aircraft.
In January VAT went up to 20%.
Spokesperson for the Leeds group, University of Leeds student Joseph Blake, said: “As the government imposes austerity measures on hard working families across the Uk, the aviation industry gets away with £9 billion a year in VAT tax exemptions. We took action today in solidarity with the London protests and to demand the government put people first, and not climate criminals like the aviation industry.
Spokesperson for the group in London, David Nivens said, “It is simply unfair that aviation pays no VAT. Why should one of the dirtiest and noisiest industries in the world get away scot-free when ordinary people are charged VAT on basic necessities like toilet rolls?”
Notes on VAT:
(1). Currently aviation is zero-rated for VAT. The consumer pays no VAT on tickets, airline fuel is zero rated and no VAT is due on purchases of new aircraft. Indeed, because of the zero rating, the airlines are VAT registered and can reclaim VAT on goods and services. If aviation was exempt from VAT, it could not claim it back. The fact it is zero-rated means that it can. Add this to the fact it pays no tax on its fuel and the Chancellor is losing at least £9 billion a year. £9 billion would pay for over 25 new hospitals.
(2). At the end of last year, the European Commission began consulting on a revision of its VAT Directive. A revised Directive could include the possibility of VAT being imposed on aviation by member states of the European Union. The consultation closes on closing date 31 May 2011