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Air Passenger Duty does nothing for the Environment

February 1, 2007 9:33 PM

Aeroplanes on stand at London City Airport.Gordon Brown's decision to double Air Passenger Duty (APD) and sell it as a green tax has been attacked by Andrew Simpson, Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton North constituency.

Air Passenger Duty is a flat rate tax paid on air passenger tickets. For economy seats on domestic and European flights, APD doubled from £5 to £10 on 1st Feb.

"APD is completely unconnected to the pollution produced by an aircraft," said Andrew Simpson. "But the Government sold this tax rise as a measure to tackle global warming and climate change."

"The reality is that it is nothing of the sort. It is a typical Labour tax rise camouflaged as a green measure. It will do nothing to reduce the pollution from aircraft. It will do a great deal to boost Government coffers."

"Gordon Brown will rake in another £1 billion a year from this tax rise and he has not used it to cut taxes elsewhere."

"Green Gordon is nothing other than a figment of the imagination of Labour spin doctors. The reality is that he is Tax-Grab Gordon. He is a green sham"

Liberal Democrats want to change the tax system to cut pollution and cut taxes on income.

"We will bring in real green taxes based on the amount of pollution certain activities cause. For example, we will scrap Air Passenger Duty and replace it with a charge on the plane based on the pollution the plane causes."

"The more fuel efficient a plane is, the less pollution it causes and the less tax charged on it. It will be a direct incentive to airlines to buy cleaner, greener planes."

"But any extra taxes raised from green taxes must be used to cut income tax. We believe people pay enough taxes already and we will not increase the overall burden. Indeed, if you have a cleaner, greener lifestyle, the amount of tax you will pay under the Liberal Democrats would go down."