Updated: Feb 20, 2021
Heathrow Airport has called on the government to cut its business rates bill despite having only recently paid over £100m in dividends to shareholders. As with many other business sectors, the COVID 19 pandemic has negatively impacted upon the aviation industry. Heathrow have seen 97% reduction in passenger numbers as all but essential travel has been cancelled. In this context, it has called upon the government to give it a “fair deal”: eliminating its £113.2 million business rates bill. Campaigners fear that letting Heathrow off its bill could put many valued local projects, funded through business rates, at risk (Hillingdon Council receives £16.2 million of the £113.2 million). Further, they argue that given that only a few months back, Heathrow paid around the sum of their rates bill as dividends to shareholders, it would be morally wrong for the local community to pick up the tab.