Azara Blog: Air travel industry is not impressed with Gordon Brown

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Date published: 2006/12/07

The BBC says:

Environmental taxes announced by Chancellor Gordon Brown have failed to impress opposition parties, businesses and green campaigners.

Mr Brown announced fuel duty would rise and air passenger duty would increase from £5 to £10 for most flights.
British Air Transport Association said doubling passenger tax was "a mistake".

The association's Roger Wiltshire said the tax would not encourage the aviation industry to find solutions for cleaner engines.

"The government and ourselves were both agreed for some time that the right approach to environment and aviation was emissions trading.

"Air passenger duty is already paid to the extent of a billion pounds. This announcement today will double that to two billion pounds.

"Not a penny of that is going to be spent on improving the emissions or performance of aircraft," he added.

Low-cost airline Easyjet was also unhappy with the increase in passenger tax.

Chief executive Andy Harrison said it was "a blunt instrument" which treated all airlines the same when they were not.

His own airline "emits 30% fewer emissions per passenger kilometre than a traditional airline" because it used newer planes and flew at 85% full.

Air passenger duty is a ridiculously blunt instrument, because it bears only a crude relation with the environmental damage done. So the comments of the airline industry are largely correct and it's obvious Brown was just introducing yet another tax hike while pandering to the so-called green agenda. Of course the so-called environmentalists are unhappy because they want to make air travel prohibitively expensive for everyone but the rich, like themselves. The tax on air travel should be a tax on airplane fuel, although emissions trading offers an alternative.

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