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Aviation Security Levy

Volume 975: debated on Monday 3 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will announce the rate of aviation security levy for 1980.

The levy rate will be increased to £1·60 from 1 February 1980. Draft amendment regulations will be laid before Parliament shortly. A small deficit was carried forward from the financial year 1978–79, when the levy was 80p. A far larger deficit is building up during the current financial year, for which the levy rate of 85p was announced on 14 December 1978, mainly because of a substantial increase in unit labour costs arising from the last round of pay settlements. The levy has to be increased before the end of the financial year to prevent the fund's borrowing facilities being exhausted. 1978–79 costs would have been covered by a levy rate of 83p. It is now estimated that the 1979–80 levy should have been set at £1·16 to meet the costs incurred during the full financial year. It is estimated that costs in the financial year 1980–81 would be covered by a levy rate of £1·34. The increase to £1·60 from 1 February 1980 is therefore largely necessary to recover the current year's shortfall in the levy rate of 31p.