The Edmondson Blog

Hot Air

I received an email from easyJet today and I think it sums up the current situation of how air travel is taxed pretty well:

[...]We all have the responsibility to take intelligent and well thought-out actions to ensure we leave the planet in a good shape for generations to come.
However, much of the recent political debate has been characterised by gesture politics and discriminatory, often contradictory proposals. Politicians of all colours recognise that different cars have different emissions but do not see the same distinction within air travel.

We are an island nation in a globalised economy yet the UK already taxes flying more heavily than any other European country while making high-speed rail available only to those living in the South East. The time has come to scrap APD air tax and move the burden of taxation from passengers to aircraft emissions. Taxing families but not private jets is a grotesque insult.

It is time for us all to demand a more intelligent approach to flying. Politicians must incentivise consumers to take the greener option when it is available - this means banning the dirty, old aircraft from our skies; getting the right tax regime in place to reward cleaner behaviour; being realistic about the value of aviation and resisting the temptation to advocate alternatives when no such alternatives exist[...]

I'm a firm believer in incentives rather than punitive taxes, especially with travel where we are an island nation an the economy relies so much on transportation both in and out as well as around the country. We should also be careful of taking a London-based view of travel, where everything is a train ride away.

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