|Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy (left) and??Member of Parliament (UK), Mark Pritchard. (FP)??|
Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, has assured that the lobby to have the British Airline Passenger Duty (APD) changed will carry on.
Speaking at a recently-held press briefing at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, which also featured United Kingdom (UK) Member of Parliament, Mark Pritchard and Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) Secretary-General, Hugh Riley, Minister Sealy revealed that: "We have had results, modest results, and if we want to win, we have to dig in, because our case is strong…key industry partners have also [supported us]".
Mr. Sealy also noted that regional leaders, including Trinidad’s Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, had presented the Caribbean’s case to British Prime Minister, David Cameron, during official visits, in an effort to get one step closer to a resolution.
Mr. Riley observed that the persistent nature of the lobbying was not only for the sake of a more equitable APD, but it also sent a message to other countries that may be considering adopting similar taxes.
"I think the main danger is that aviation taxation could become a contagion…that’s why doing nothing was not an option.?? Were we to do nothing, then any country could get the notion that folks in the Caribbean don’t mind this so much, so let’s apply a tax here and a tax there…," he said.
The CTO Secretary-General observed that, while it was not being suggested that the UK government did not have a right to impose the tax, "it is important for us all, as a region, to do whatever we can to bring attention to the effect of the Air Passenger Duty on our lives and to say how we think it can be adjusted, so that all sides have their interests met."