Friday, 10 April 2009

Flight tax

The government's income's fallen and we're on the brink of bankruptcy?

Not a problem. There's an easy way out.

Here's a policy idea for politicians looking for funding: tax each airline passenger for the estimated amount of greenhouse gases produced by their flight. Ensure that the passenger is not taxed based on the airline's reported emissions but on the true emissions including contrail and nitrogen which triples the reported total. That should make the price of each ticket 50-60 dearer dissuading week-end escapades and bringing much needed revenue to the Treasury.

Use the tax to fund subsidies in cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, condensing boilers and to heavily subsidize the installation of uneconomical renewable energy facilities such as tidal wave and biomass. I recently read alarming reports from the charity REF about the fact that most renewable energy investment goes into the least capital intensive technology, wind, preventing us from having a balanced portfolio of renewable energy power stations.

Any jobs lost in airlines as a result of these taxes could be gained in the renewable energy sector.

Sure enough there would be a public backlash and people would complain for a while but do you notice anyone complaining when they go and fill up at the petrol station?

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