Conservatives vie with Brown over green taxes

12th March 2007
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The Conservative party has unveiled new taxes on aviation in a bid to control increasing carbon dioxide emissions from the sector.

The Shadow Chancellor George Osborne announced the proposals this weekend, which include introducing VAT or fuel duty on domestic flights, replacing air passenger duty with a “per-flight” tax, which will encourage airlines not to fly with half-empty planes, and the creation of a “green-air miles allowance”, with an allowance for one short-haul flight a year at a lower rate of tax.

Speaking on the Today programme, Conservative leader David Cameron said that the proposals were part of ‘taxing in a smart way,’ which would not disadvantage the average British holiday-maker. Mr. Cameron also intimated that budget airline Easyjet had welcomed his party’s proposals, since a ‘per-flight’ tax would benefit airlines which flew full aircraft, rather those which are part-booked.

Ahead of the publication of the climate change bill tomorrow, the Chancellor Gordon Brown will tonight address an audience of environmentalists to set out his own green agenda. Stephen Hale, the Director of Green Alliance, the environmental NGO hosting the event, said that the Chancellor’s speech would focus on international plans for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and also on the scope for individual action.

This article first appeared in the Ecologist March 2007