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UK wants to levy tax per flight rather than per passenger

ATW Daily News by Cathy Buyck 10 Oct. 07

The British government is considering replacing the controversial air passenger duty with a tax based on flights rather than passengers.

"I propose that aviation makes a greater contribution in respect of its environmental impact and for this to be as environmentally effective as possible, from 2009, I intend to levy the duty not on individual passengers but on flights," Chancellor Alistair Darling announced yesterday. He also stressed that it is "right" that aircraft emissions should be part of the EU emissions trading scheme (ATWOnline, March 14). APD levels will be frozen in the run-up to the change.

EasyJet said it welcomed the proposal (ATWOnline, Sept. 19). "It is right to tax emissions, not passengers. That means reflecting a combination of aircraft type and distance flown," CEO Andy Harrison said, while warning that "the reform should not be used as an excuse to further increase the burden of tax on passengers. EasyJet, for example, already covers its carbon costs more than four times over."

British Airways said, "Our share of APD revenue for the government is now 400 million ($815.6 million) a year. With this money the government could offset our entire CO2 emissions four times over." It added, "Once aviation is included in the EU scheme, we expect APD or any replacement tax to be ended."

For Ryanair, the reformed APD would be "just another tax on ordinary passengers from government ministers swanning around on private aircraft. This Labour government lied when it proposed to spend the 1 billion raised from doubling APD on the environment. Not a penny has been spent on the environment and they are back stealing more from ordinary passengers going on holidays."

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