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Remember, It’s A Replacement Tax 11 March 2007

Posted by David in Comment, Conservatives.

The new eco-taxes aren’t popular. No new taxes are popular, but these should be, because they come with eco-tax cuts of equal amount. If it were just a tax grab – like Gordon Brown’s “green” tax rises announced in the Pre Budget Report before Christmas – I would be as against it as anyone else. But this is shifting the tax burden from general living onto aviation. The proposals are;

The imposition of fuel duty and/or VAT on domestic flights. This is in fact removing an exemption airlines currently have. All other forms of transport pay VAT and fuel duty, so should aviation, especially as there are alternatives for domestic flights.

The replacement of Gordon Brown’s very controversial air passenger duty with a per-flight tax based more closely on actual carbon emissions. Sounds fairer.

The introduction of an annual ‘green air miles allowance’ so that frequent flyers pay a higher rate of taxation (so protecting poorer families from a heavy tax on their annual summer holiday). Sounds bureaucratic, not a good option but maybe good electorally.

Reductions in other forms of taxation would benefit the economy far more than increases in aviation taxes would damage it. We must tax in the most efficient, least damaging way. It’s also fairer that we pay tax on something we don’t really need, rather than basic living. The new adult rate for the minimum wage came into force last October.  £5.35 per hour.  Anyone working a 37.5 hour week on the minimum wage is earning £10,432.50 and paying £931.79 in income tax

I’d rather pay more tax for my flights, but pay less tax on my income. That way I can choose how to spend my money myself, rather than having the government decide for aviation to subsidised by VAT and fuel tax exemptions.

I also find it odd how so many hate the idea of taxes on their fuel guzzling airlines, but when its “gas guzzling 4x4s” or “fat cat City bonuses” they think it’s a great idea. Much like how they accept £kazillions being spent on a footballer, but think they have a right to call private business wages “excessive”.


1. Pete - 11 March 2007

I agree, you are right to say its fairer, its the polluter pays principle rather than just a blind grab as Gordon Brown has done. As for the miles allowance, its name does make it sound a bit authoritarian!

It’s all a very simple message though, tax the BADs not the GOODs. You have just got to get the public and the press to see it for what it is though, after Gordon Brown is it any wonder they are cynical?

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