12 March 2007

David Cameron and Aviation Taxes

I might as well link to the Conservative party's website, so you can see the outlined consultation in full.

What Cameron is suggesting is threefold:

- charging fuel duty and/or VAT on domestic flights
- replacing air passenger duty with a per-flight tax based more closely on actual carbon emissions
- introducing a 'Green Air Miles Allowance' so that people who fly more frequently pay tax at a higher rate

David Wooding, in the Sun, puts some flesh on this.

All travellers would be limited to 2,000 “green air miles” a year — enough for a return trip to Spain. After the 2000 miles, there would be a £40 penalty every flight.

Cameron's proposal implies that, after the 2000 miles, people can fly as much as they want, so long as they keep paying.

Even if Cameron hikes the per-flight tax to £100 a flight, heavy fliers will only have to pay £1200 extra a year (14000 miles, 12 extra flights of 1000 miles each)

£1200 sounds like a lot to you and me, but the Civil Aviation Authority has found that the average income of UK leisure passengers travelling through Stansted Airport was £51 141 a year in 2005.

It shouldn't be about people flying as much as they want, so long as they can pay.

It should be about less airport capacity (and more green belt land preserved when 2nd runways aren't brought in) and people simply taking the train more.

3 comments:

Martin said...

I fully support any moves to force people off domestic flights but remain deeply concerned about the UK's poor integrated transport policies (i.e. the total absence of any!). Rail travel has a long way to go to become the "transport mode of choice". Many people taking domestic flights do so for the levels of comfort and convenience that are not available to rail passengers for the same price. What's more, the proposed levies on domestic flights will not bring the cost of domestic flights to a price point that makes rail travel competitive. Remember, this price point is much higher for business travellers, too.

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