Gordon Brown to be challenged over new tax

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to be challenged at this coming weekend’s Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting in Trinidad over planned new air taxes that will affect the Caribbean tourism industry.

The taxes are intended to reduce the impact of carbon emissions and are calculated by how far each passenger will fly. This translates to an increase of 13 per cent in the levy on flights to the Caribbean this year and a 50 per cent increase in 2010.

Caricom Secretary-General Edwin Carrington dubbed the planned new tax as a ‘friendly fire’ attack on an industry that is already feeling the effects of the world economic situation.

Caricom is an organisation comprising fifteen Caribbean nations as full members and five associates, including Cayman Islands.

There are also five countries with observer status, who engage with at least one Caricom technical committee.

The Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting is expected to discuss both the global recession and climate change. It is officially opened by Head Of The Commonwealth Queen Elizabeth II on Friday in Port Of Spain.