Azara Blog: Easyjet naively asks the government for a "green" tax

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Date published: 2007/09/18

The BBC says:

The budget airline Easyjet has announced its support for a green tax on air travel. The carrier says current air passenger duty should be scrapped and replaced with a tax based on the amount of carbon dioxide produced on each flight.

It believes such a tax would mean Easyjet passengers would pay less than they do with passenger duty.

Ministers say including aviation in the EU's carbon trading scheme is the best way to ensure meeting emission targets.

The BBC's transport correspondent Tom Symonds said Easyjet's routes were relatively short compared with full service carriers and it used newer aircraft.

This meant the no-frills airline believed its carbon emissions would be lower per passenger than many of its rivals, he said.

Earlier this year, the government came in for heavy criticism from the UK's leading airlines for doubling the UK Air Passenger Duty (APD).

Easyjet described the charge as "an ineffective environmental tax" which failed to recognise that some airlines have more efficient planes than others.

In its latest report, Towards Greener Skies: The Surprising Truth About Flying And The Environment, Easyjet has urged the government to bring in a tax based on aircraft types and distance travelled.

The most sane "green" tax on airlines would be levied on fuel. That is by far the best proxy for carbon emissions. But a tax based on aircraft type and distance travelled is a second best. Easyjet of course is not being "green", they just want to help their business model. On the other hand, Easyjet must be completely naive to think that if the (current or any future) government were to introduce this new tax, they would at the same time reduce air passenger duty so as to make the change tax neutral. You can bet that at the end of the day all airline journeys, even those of Easyjet (and Ryanair), will have a much higher tax in the future than exists today. Politicians are addicted to tax and airline journeys are an easy target since the ruling elite have managed to put out the propaganda that air travel is evil (courtesy of the BBC and much of the rest of the chattering classes that run large parts of the UK media).

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