Flying tax is angering people


              Much of today’s politics takes the form of campaigns waged by big businesses and their PR advisers. They draft standard emails and letters for people to send to their MPs. They get friendly MPs to table motions and pose questions to supplement their campaigns. They brief the media.

                  This Parliament the most successful by far, if measured by the number of people sending in the standard email, has been the campaign to cut Air Passenger Duty. This summer many individuals and families have taken to the air for their holidays, or have flown on business, only to find that APD is now  a large sum. It is even more noticeable if you have taken advantage of cheap fares from low cost airlines, or from early booking, as it can add a large sum to the total cost as a proportion of the original fare.

                   I have no time for high taxes of any kind. There are all sorts of taxes I would like to see lower. Nonetheless it has surprised me that out of all the unpopular tax impositions on people it should be APD that has attracted such a high level of criticism.

                   It implies that the government’s proposed switch of taxes from  taxing “goods” like work and saving to taxing “bads” like pollution and carbon dioxide emission has not proved as popular as they hoped. APD is one of the few ways they have been following this policy, along with higher fuel duties on petrol and diesel which are also proving very unpopular.

                     I doubt if the government  are about to give in and cut APD. They would be wise, however, to call a halt to extra “green” taxation. It is encountering a lot of consumer resistance. The problem with APD is that for the better off it is yet another modest attack on their lfiestyles which they probably afford to pay. For people on low incomes it may be the straw which breaks the camel’s back. APD is now at a level where it may stop someone  flying altogether. That, of course, was the stated intention. It does not make it popular, and in a democracy the voices of the people  have a role to play.

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  1. Brian Taylor
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    The first party that was brave enough to call a halt to all CO2 related tax would win the next election outright.

    This applies to the first party to allow a referendum on our relationship with EU,all parties it appears seem afraid of the voters.

    If the above items are not addressed,then it’s more coalition politics or that what MPs want?

    • Bob
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      See UKIP policy. Page 5 on the policies section of their website.

      Into reads: “UKIP accepts that the world’s climate changes, but we are the first party to take a sceptical stance on man-made global warming claims. We called for a rational, balanced approach to the climate debate in 2008, before the extensive manipulation of scientific data first became clear. Polls now show a majority of the British people share this scepticism despite protests from another LibLabCon-sensus. UKIP now calls for an immediate halt to unjustified spending on renewable sources that has led to massive energy price hikes and fuel poverty.”

      • Timaction
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        Still they harp on about CO2 which accounts for 0.034% of the atmosphere. The rest of the world outside of the EU dictatorship have moved on. The UK accounts for less than 2% of the man made emissions gobally and China emits more than this in just its annual increases. Canada/America have abandoned this nonsense. When are our politicians going to wake up realise the scam is up. Unproven science impoverishing our elderly and poor with ridiculous gren taxes!!

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

          “When are our politicians going to wake up and realise the scam is up?”

          Difficult to say. Many are still convinced by the “BBC think” agenda and believe they are saving the world as they drive the Volvo to the recycling centre or cycle to work occasionally. Many, indeed most, politicians, charities, state funded scientists and multinational government organisations, and Cameron/Clegg have attached themselves to this absurd religion. Their credibility is attached to it all so it is hard for them to see sense and admit it.

          I assume Cameron will, at best, stick to his fake green line but ignore it in practice. He rarely does what he says. Anyway, in this area, that would be a very good thing.

      • Christopher Ekstrom
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Bad news for Spainards flying to London to open a bank account. Perhaps …. Heseltine can explain one more time about his grand plans for British Euro…

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      We do elect these people, so why are you blaming them?

  2. lifelogic
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Taxes should try to be neutral, so as not to affect behaviour unless there are very good reasons for it. There are no good reasons to over tax petrol and yet not tax electric cars for example. Nor to subsidise PV, tidal, hydro and wind electricity but to over tax gas, oil and coal. It distorts the market and encourages illogical actions, costing the country a fortune pointlessly and misdirecting effort.

    I do however tend to think people travel too much for short breaks/business trip when other methods such a the phone or video might be more efficient. Some people like Cameron for example even fly huge distances with Obama in huge thirsty planes just to go to a silly ball game for example. Prince Charles too never seems that keen on saving carbon on his personal travel either, despite his empty words instructing others.

    Some tax on flights is justified given that road fuels are taxes so highly. It is, however, overall tax levels that matter in the end. In fact it is over all government waste that matters most.

    Under Cameron this waste is huge and even increasing it seems. Start by stopping the green subsidies, get cheaper energy a level fiscal field of play and just cut out the 50% of government expenditure that is pointless or actually damaging.

    APT is very visible as a tax which perhaps explains the reaction. I think all taxes should be very visible so as to increase political resistance to them all. Petrol receipts should say petrol £20 taxes £60 total £80 or whatever it is.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      May I recommend on the death of British property rights from the evil carbon religion.

      • Bazman
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        Anyone who takes Dingbat to be a serious source of information is not to be taken seriously.

        • zorro
          Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          Plat the ball not the man now Bazman…….


          • zorro
            Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

            Play the ball

          • Bazman
            Posted September 7, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

            To many balls to play.

    • stred
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      The efficiencies of air transport are given in Sustainable Energy by Prof MacKay, the qualified member of the DECC Team, and available on their website. In terms of energy per distance, Ryanairs planes in 2007 needed 37 kWh per 100 passenger-km. This is about the same as a car with 2 passengers.

      Page 128 shows a chart relating speed and energy use. A 747 flying full lies in the lower part at about 42. Trains when full come in below 10. Obviously, when empty or part full this figure soars way above the figure for a full aircraft. Trains tend to run empty far more frequently than aircraft. The most inefficient transport is the ocean liner at over 100. When speed and time saving is charted, aircraft win outright.

      So let’s tax the nasty things out of the UK and make us travel via Europe.
      Clever Clegg policy. Almost as daft as proposing to source a high proportion of our energy from the Sahara, depending on Spain and France to build the lines, using German DC transmission. See the Libdem plan on p.209.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink


        The “BBC think” green train and bike religion and the evil car and evil aeroplane.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

          It makes me mad when junior hacks (and not just BBC ones, ITV and Sky News are not immune from such nonsense) come out with comments about how “green” electric trains are, they never seem to realise that all one does is move the generation of electricity from on-board to an even less efficient power station [1] – the way these hacks talk anyone would think they have discovered perceptual motion!

          [1] at least one can shut-down a diesel locomotive when it is not5 needed, unlike the majority of power stations

    • James Sutherland
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      I agree – in a democracy, it is for the people to control the government’s actions, not vice versa!

      Any tax levied on specific goods should be no higher than needed to recoup the government’s cost in delivering it; in the case of fuel, VAT alone is more than sufficient.

      One thing I like from the US is that the price listed is the price you actually pay to the provider of the product or service: if I buy a $10 item on which the government demands a further $1, $10 is the price shown. Consumers get a very obvious reminder how much the government is taking, every single time they pay it.

      If our fuel pumps and petrol stations all had fuel not at £1.40, but “£0.60 for the fuel, plus £0.80 to the government”, I think MPs would very soon get a clear message from their constituents. Some of us can already do the calculation for ourselves: when I handed over £45 last week, I knew I was giving about £27 to the Treasury and actually receiving £18 worth of fuel for my £45, but sadly I suspect I’m a small minority there.

      APD makes it obvious, which backfires on the government: if only this were true of all our taxes!

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        Any you probably paid tax and NI employer and employee on the £45 first – so you got £18 of fuel for perhaps £70 worth of your labour. Perhaps also much of the fuel will be used to get to work.

      • John Wrexham
        Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        I know it’s tedious, but someone has to pay for the roads you drive on, the schools your children attend, the medical services you use, the police who chase after the crims who tried to pinch your car etc etc.

  3. ian wragg
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    APD is the governments answer to airport expansion. Price the plebs out of the market – job done. Our Eton friends believe that air travel is for the entitled only.
    The fact that APD is reducing inwards tourism and closing regional airports is of no consequence to our privileged rulers.
    Everthinfg they do reduces economic growth and Gideons answer to everything is to build more houses for the immigrants.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      I think the next target wll be the Green Belt protection. This will be Cameron and Cleggs parting shot and will turn safe Home Counties seats into marginals. Housing is needed in Inner London, but the political/media elite covet their green spaces in the areas they live. They don’t want cheap housing near them.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Travel broadens the mind. Do you have a passport? If you do, dust it down and use it!!

  4. colliemum
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    You say that “it has surprised me that out of all the unpopular tax impositions on people it should be APD that has attracted such a high level of criticism.”

    It really is not so surprising, because everyone can see how much that tax is costing them, unlike VAT which is not shown separately on one’s receipt. What is worse is that this is a tax on something which is not inescapable, such as household energy bills, where one can turn down appliances, take out lightbulbs, wash in cold water etc … It is a tax which is not related to the price of the flight, it is a tax where one has no influence on the size of it.

    I would say that the outcry about fuel prices is due to the same fact: people can see how much taxes they are being charged, and are not happy.

    Expect more of such write-in campaigns in future, John!
    One of my private tax-‘hate’ is charging VAT on electronic books, when VAT is not charged on old-fashioned books … regretfully you’re not my MP, else you’d have heard from me already!

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Indeed charge a purchase tax on everything or non at all at say 6% not 20% – fiscal neutrality please. The complexity of the EU inspired VAT system is absurd.

      • Dan H.
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        VAT isn’t just absurd but liable to huge levels of fraud, too. VAT is thus costing us a packet on no fewer than three levels; the iniquitously high rate it is set at, the ruinously high level of fraud, and the huge cost that trying to keep this turkey of a tax working costs us in enforcement.

        Get rid of it and impose a straight purchase tax instead; overnight fraud levels will drop sharply as will the enforcement costs, and a purchase tax being simpler to enfore and collect can be set at a much lower percentage to collect the same amount of money.

        Only one problem: our absent idiot masters in the EU demand that we carry on implementing this most moronic of taxes. There’s a simple answer to that, which is to leave the EU, but our invertebrate politicians seem unable to grasp this concept.

        • Derek Buxton
          Posted September 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

          It is not surprising that VAT is riddled with fraud, it is after all an EU competence, and they do not come more fraudulent than that.

        • John Wrexham
          Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          Purchase tax is a very sensible idea. Didn’t we have one before VAT was introduced? You are right about it being easy to collect. Ideally we would have it to fund local government spending and could then scrap most of the ridiculous buck passing caused by the current ways central government funds local government. If each council could charge its own rate, it would have a downward pressure on the tax.

      • Bazman
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        VAT is pretty much on everything as you well know.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:49 am | Permalink

          No VAT on rents, residential property, insurance, flights, trains, buses, coaches, food, herbs, children’s cloths ………

          • Bazman
            Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            No Vat on food? Really? Alcoholic drinks, confectionery, crisps and savoury snacks, supplies of food made in the course of catering including hot takeaways, ice cream, soft drinks and mineral water. Vat on travel expenses. Residential property maintenance attracts VAT. Childrens clothes, but only if you have children. Like I said hard one to avoid in one form or another.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:11 am | Permalink


    Perhaps the reason it is noticed so much, is because it is listed as an EXTRA COST by Airlines when you book, thus you are made aware exactly how much this tax costs you.

    I guarantee that if everything you purchased also showed tax as a seperate item, then people would be far more aware of exactly how much Government was taking from them.

    Imagine going to a Garage and being told that to fill up your car was listed as £30.00 Plus a tax of £40.00.

    Or your wife/partner/girlfriend going to purchase shoes and a handbag only to find that 20% was listed as Tax.

    It is all about perception.

    Most people still think the NHS is FREE, perhaps if they really knew how much it cost per person per year, they may think rather differently about the service they get.
    Instead of just being grateful, they may insist on a better managed system.

    • Bob
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink


    • uanime5
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Whenever I go to the garage they break the price down into labour, parts, and VAT. I believe they’re required to show the base price, VAT, and the total price.

      • alan jutson
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink


        I was using the cost of fuel as an example.

        Whilst VAT may be on your receipt, it is as a sum of the total (which includes VAT), you do not get the invoice breakdown as you suggest you may when having a car serviced because:

        The base price for fuel is not shown, or indeed is the amount of Fuel Duty.

  6. Kevin R. Lohse
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Green taxes are a way of raising revenue by using the fear factor and bad science to dramatise a non-existant problem. People are getting wise to the CAGW scam and George is right to seek to cut down the burden on the tax-payer from rent-seeking Greenies, who seem to find no inconsistency with flying round the World to love-ins in exotic places with other people’s money while stopping working families from doing the same with their own money. Dump windmills and Frack for Victory!

    • Nick
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Yep, its governments using ‘fear’ as a means to extort more money.

      More money because they have followed the Asil Nadir guide to financial accounting.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Indeed let up hope it is not too late for the Duke of Edinburgh still to knock a bit of sense, on climate change, into the head of Prince Charles and get him to shut up. Or at least to act as he preaches others to do.

      • Bert Young
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Well said ! He’s made many gaffs in the past and doesn’t seem to pay any attention to his critics . His marriage is a typical example .

  7. Sue
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    People are just fed up with being conned by the climate change brigade. Green taxes are put in place to ensure that the rich, get richer, read Booker (Yeo/TMO Renewables and Gummer/Forewind Ltd) in last two Sunday Telegraphs.

    The only people to gain from these taxes are rich landowners (the “gentry”) and politicians who head up green industries. What are these taxes supposed to be for? Are they being used to make the climate healthier or are they just being used to refill the empty coffers of government agencies and fatcat bank accounts?

    Green taxes are killing our economy. The shame of it is, we have millions of tonnes of untapped shale gas which would give us the boost we need to get us on our feet. Unfortunately, that would mean doing something brave like Cameron telling the EU to foxtrot oscar, but with a spineless leader at the helm, we will just continue to go downhill.

  8. Gary
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Some say that the entire govt inspired environmental movement is just an excuse to tax us further. The conspiratorial say that it the most effective way to impose a world tax.

    • Nick
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      And they would be right.

      After all, I keep hearing wind is free. Why do they need a subsidy and why do I have high electricity prices then?

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      Perhaps not so much a planned conspiracy, as a religion or irrational belief system (with perhaps some scientific justification – but clearly hugely exaggerated scaremongering). A belief system that many can be foolishly encouraged to believe (after all the BBC will tell them to and who are they to question the BBC well selected “experts”). Many in government, charities, the BBC and governmental bodies find this rather suites their agenda well. Pictures of polar bears on lumps of ice raise lots of money or can be used to justify higher taxes on anything and as can grand pictures of clean steam coming off power station cooling towers.

      The effect is almost the same. Still the wheels are finally falling off as they can no longer keep fiddling the thermometers, the tree rings, the sea heights, the ice cores or the tea leaves. How long until the next ice age scare I wonder?

      • forthurst
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        “Perhaps not so much a planned conspiracy, as a religion or irrational belief system”

        There is no doubt that there has been a planned conspiracy involving a self-selecting group of ‘scientists’, ‘economists’, banksters, global control freaks etc. However any cursory glance at the comments in the guardian will confirm your latter assertion. This is much the same as the way bolshevism was promoted as the planned efficient alternative to chaotic and selfish capitalism in which many millions believed and for which tens more millions died. Of course, bolshevism was simply a criminal conspiracy to steal a country and engage in plunder and murder; ‘communism’ was the window dressing. Interestingly, there are certain correspondences between the progenitors of both cults.

      • Bazman
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        Your paranoia at the BBC is laughable. Have you the same view on other sources of news that say the same.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:54 am | Permalink

          I have no fear of the BBC. I merely point out they are often wrong scientifically and have a political agenda which is very damaging for most people and sets an unfortunate lefty, fake green, pro EU, anti democratic mood to the nation and the many dimmer people who swallow it all.

          • Bazman
            Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            How about your rightly anti democratic stance on the rich and big business and who said the science is wrong? Your priest Dingbat? How smart is this guy?

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      The environment movement certainly wasn’t inspired by the government.

  9. Single Acts
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    And let’s not forget the impact on the incoming tourist industry. I saw some figures for Chinese tourist visits to the UK and we aren’t achieving anything like the figures France and Germany manage. As manufacturing is under pressure, the tourist pound is a really useful supplement to the national purse.

    APD drives it away.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      They all come to London where the hotels are always full. What would you like to do? Stop building new apartments, which are mostly purchased by foreign and Chinese investors, and build hotels instead for Chinese visitors?

      • Single Acts
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        I almost didn’t bother replying to such a poor post, but it is impolite not to, so here goes.

        1. What figures are you relying on for hotel occupancy rates, please quote your source?
        2. Where do I advocate not building apartments?
        3. Please quote your source for the nationality of purchasers of new apartments?

        If you disagree about APD impacting on tourism please explain why?

        • Winston Smith
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

          “I saw some figures”. A tadge hypocritical, wouldnt’ you say?Yes, I also saw some figures.

        • John Wrexham
          Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          It is fairly common knowledge that it is foreign buyers of property which have ensured that London has bucked the trend compared to elsewhere in the country when it comes to property prices.

          Property taxes in the UK are very low, making UK property a great investment for foreign investors. London benefits because it is the international city par excellence. It’s home from home for everyone, except in one important matter – the government and law and order are a lot more reliable.

  10. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    My wife and I are living off our savings. We reckon we are pretty parsimonious.
    Our family live and work abroad where there is not a welfare state nor are there welfare taxes to pay people to watch Jeremy Kyle or to be richly rewarded for playing the government bureaucracy as hard working underpaid members of Unite. Socialist, Buddhist and utterly left wing, my children are living much better than we are.
    So when we visit them (and we are frugally saving for it too) we are hit by a further tax.

    I very much hope that the poor vulnerable people who didn’t quite make it to the paralympics from their cosy homes and the wretched people whose lives have been so damaged as they look from their sofa for work through a drug fuelled haze will appreciate our contribution to their well deserved rewards.

  11. Nick
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    I doubt if the government are about to give in and cut APD.


    More evidence for no democracy and lots of dictatorship.

    I notice the spin.

    Here its the government, not you.

    You voted for the increases. Why aren’t you responsible?

  12. ShineyMart
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink


    >>Nonetheless it has surprised me that out of all the unpopular tax impositions on people it should be APD that has attracted such a high level of criticism.<<
    Is it not obvious? People don't like paying any taxes – whatever they say about paying more for better services…. revealed preferences and all that. So when the tax is 'in your face' i.e. one can see exactly how much is being paid on each transaction then people complain…. loudly. Think Council Tax, Fuel & Alcohol Duty as well as APD

    By the same token PAYE, NI, VAT are therefore accepted without demur by most of the population – even though VAT and Employers NI are the WORST taxes in terms of deadweight costs – because they are largely hidden.

    How about making each payslip say something like ' the government has just taken £xxx equal to xx% from the pay you would have received' or showing the total tax (NI, VAT, duty etc) broken down in BOLD at the top of everybody's weekly shopping bill – 'by shopping at [Tesco/Asad/Waitrose etc] you have just paid £xxx equating to xxx% of your bill to the government'

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Better still label everything bought – so a bottle of gin £1.50 with no tax but £14 with or petrol £20 with no tax £80 with or shoes £10 no tax £40 with. Combine all the taxes, NI, income tax, CGT, IPT, IHT, VAT, APT, IPT, stamp duties, Landfill, Carbon tax, BBC tax, council taxes, car and other fines, CT and all the rest. to give an average computation.

      Then perhaps allow for the costs of the EU, green energy and the huge over regulation of everything else. Then government costs would account for something perhaps approaching 80% of the price of many things on the shopping list.

      That might get the voters to finally to wake up to the true costs of over big and largely parasitic government perhaps.

      Reply When government spends about half of all national output the average person should expect to lose half their income in tax one way or another.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        To reply well perhaps – but there are still the costs of the silly regulations and misdirection of resources (green energy and similar) and other things on top plus all the costs of collecting and accounting for these taxes.

        For example, today I have to apply just to “renew” an existing planning consent for a single, small three bed additional house. I have to advertise this in a local paper again (at a rip off rate £440) and pay a council fee (total cost £1100) plus the architects fees on top of this (just to renew it). Do the government want cheap housing or just to profit the council and a certain local newspaper?

        Doubtless they will insist on another daft new bat survey or some other insanity too at my expense. While their subsidised wind farms keep exploding them all all over the place.

        Looks like a money printing racket to me and a lack of future cheap housing too. Why does it run out after 3 years anyway?

        • John Wrexham
          Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps you should have got a move-on, you did have seven years from when permission was first granted to start work. Perhaps less time on the web!! I don’t think the government asks for bat surveys in buildings that do not yet exist. They may be meddlesome, but even HMG draws the line at the physically possible.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Not to mention the mainly daft conditions they put on the planning which will push the cost up by thousands and reduce the utility/value of the property too. I do not think 80% is much over the top when all considered.

      • Bert Young
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Dr. JR . No, no , no ! . The Government should reduce its expenditure and NOT expect to be taxed on income proportionately.

      • Bazman
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        As another silly and pointless regulation?

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Are you in work? My pay slip shows my deductions for Income tax and national insurance and they all have ever since i started work. If i were you, i would ask your employer because he/she may not be passing on your tax and you could end up with a big bill courtesy of HMRC!!

  13. Pete the Bike
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    APD is just another example of how governments use force to control people. That is what they do. That is all they can do.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      If APD is so awfully authoritarian, I wonder if Bashir al-Assad is introducing it as another way to terrorize his people. Of course he isn’t, because describing a small tax as ‘force’ is ridiculous hyperbole.

  14. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    JR: “in a democracy the voices of the people have a role to play.”
    There is no chance of those voices being acted on when we have three main political parties peddling the same offerings. There is no real competition amongst those parties. As in all other areas of non-competition prices (taxes) go up, the organisation (government)becomes bloated and the service to customers (the electorate) deteriorates. If people are waking up to the con trick of “green taxation to save the planet” which politicians of those parties have peddled then that is a good thing but until we have someone prepared to alter the monopolistic approach there will be no democratic solution.

    • Derek Buxton
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      It is just a pity that the MPs who matter have no intention of listening to the People, can you hear me Mr.Cameron……no, didn’t think so. We all know from his comments that he is not interested in what anyone outside his little brain dead clique have to say!

  15. oldtimer
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    The idea behind this tax is to stop people flying. In effect flying is being rationed by a government induced price increase. Freedom of movement is deliberately being curtailed. This is explicit government policy. The CAGW scam was wheeled out to seek to justify the new tax.

    As someone has already commented, it is designed to keep the plebs in their place. You are only to be allowed to travel if you can afford the tribute our “leaders” have deemed appropriate. So much for living in a so-clled free country!

    Of course, as others have already also commented, it will work wonders for the tourist industry. We will all be wondering why it declines in the years ahead.

    • English Pensioner
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      If it achieves its object of reducing flying, at least we won’t need the third runway at Heathrow !

  16. Martin
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    The reason governments like APD is that only a small percentage of the population pay it and they are scattered across the political spectrum. I suspect the environment is just a smokescreen for this tax.

    The opposite case would be adding NI to basic rate tax. Despite being the main gainers from taxes pensioners would be upset. They tend to vote.

    The other bad thing about APD is that it drives non UK based travellers away from UK airports. (Why change at Heathrow when you can do the same at Amsterdam etc. for £100 less?)

    Of course if the government had let a private company build a third runway at Heathrow it could reduce the rate of APD and still collect more. A third runway would be good for the environment as planes would not waste fuel on being stacked.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      What net benefits do transit passengers bring to our economy? Some will buy food served and made by recent immigrants. Some will buy designer handbags made in China and Italy, served by recent migramts. Some disappear and emerge in out huge migrant black economy to absorb resources. What are the benefits?

      • Martin
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        Transit passengers put money into British businesses. If I change at Heathrow Virgin or BA benefit. These companies employ people and pay tax NI and corporation tax to the UK government. More employees means less welfare payments. If I connect at Amsterdam or Frankfurt other governments benefit.

        As for the rest of your points how do transit passengers vanish? Have you ever transited through Heathrow? Should you have real knowledge of holes in the process or criminality I’m sure the relevant authorities will be happy to listen.

    • Mark
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Around half the adult population have flown in a given year at least once: obviously, some of those who don’t fly one year may do so the next. Only around 1% of adult flyers are flying for the first time. The tax affects rather more people than you suppose.

  17. Roger Farmer
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    John, you raise the subject of APD and suggest a solution which is a placebo, under which we must continue to enjoy the pain. It is a tax based on a lie.
    It is not just the passenger who suffers. A country like Spain gets fewer tourists, when her largest industry needs them. Those she does get spend less.
    Tax in all it’s forms is a disincentive. A certain level is necessary to pay collectively for services considered essential. However because government cannot stop itself doing more and more in our lives it’s spending exceeds it’s income. It therefore requires ever increasing taxes. Within this tax requirement is, I suspect, a hefty sum to cover it’s incompetence in spending.
    Someone has to find the courage to redefine the limits of government interference in our lives, taking it back to a point where everyone keeps at least 75% of their income. At lower levels 100%. The population is then less burdened and more self reliant.
    Socialism will not do this, it likes dependency. Conservatism needs to re-think it’s mission before something far less benign replaces it. APD is one of many symptoms indicative of the underlying disease, fatal if left untreated.

  18. merlin
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    APG does not exist therefore any form of green tax is totally unecessary. APG is driven by the madness of crowds and I just hope the bubble eventually bursts and particularly governments see the light, APD and all the other so-called “green taxes” should be abolished. It does amaze me how easily people and governments are deceived by false science, but I am not surprised.

    • David John Wilson
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      It is also amazing how many people are deceived by the claims of a relatively few people that green taxes are based on false science when the majority of scientists still claim that the science is not flawed.

      There are very few qualified scientists amongst the decriers of the need for the green agenda.

      • oldtimer
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Where is your evidence that “the majority of scientists still claim that the science is not flawed”?

        It is clear that that the statistical methods used by Mann and co were flawed – see The Hockey Stick Illusion” by AW Montford. No one has yet provided a definitive analysis of carbon emission to and sequestration from the atmosphere (of which the man made portion is very small). The forcings that account for the IPCC temperature predictions are no more than assumptions built into the numbers- they are not demonstrable hypotheses. There is a distinct mismatch between the caution of scientists in the scientific sections of IPCC reports and the cover documents produced for the politicians. There is a clear mismatch between actual global temperatures reported by satellites and IPCC predictions over the past 20-30 years for which such data is available.

        • uanime5
          Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          Given that NASA still claims climate change is real and no one has ever published a scientific paper in a peer reviewed scientific journal showing anything to the contrary it’s clear that the science is not flawed.

          Real evidence has shown that the average global temperature is still rising and that the last 10 years were on average hotter than the previous 10 years.

          • oldtimer
            Posted September 4, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

            The issue is not whether there is climate change. There is climate change and there always has been. The issue is the cause.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Well I am a qualified scientist and most of the scientist I know think it is a huge exaggeration at best, anyway just look logic. Can you predict the lottery balls ten seconds later and is the weather prediction for 100 years a simpler or more complex system? How can you know the weather in 100 years you do not even know the suns activity for 100 years do you? Or volcanic activity or countless other things.

        Anyway just look at current real temperature measurements from space or from real thermometers that are not affected by the urban heat effect or special factors.

        Start thinking not just listening to experts.

        • John Wrexham
          Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

          How many qualified scientists describe themselves as ‘qualified scientists’?? Sounds a bit non-specific to me? i have got O Levels in Chemistry and Physics, does that make me a qualified scientist as well?

  19. Chris
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    A letter in the D Telegraph today gives a wonderful quote re the effect of ever more taxes:
    When fantasising about “wealth” taxes, which disincentivise the wealth creators, Nick Clegg might note a quotation from a former one-time Liberal. “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle,” said Winston Churchill.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      He should have added “while a civil servant hits him over the head with a cosh of endless rolled up pointless regulations”

  20. English Pensioner
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    APD is like Road Tax. What started of as a surcharge to cover the extra security following 9/11 (which people broadly accepted), soon became a tax in its own right with other alleged aims.
    Last time my daughter flew to America on business, she flew from Ireland with a ticket purchased by the company’s Dublin Office This involved a flight from London City airport with a UK purchased ticket which totally avoided all the hassle of Heathrow. Taxi to the airport after work, airborne in under an hour, a night in Ireland and a hassle free tip to LA apparently saving the company time and money.
    How long will it be before people start taking the Eurostar to, say Paris and using a French purchased ticket to fly Air France?

  21. sm
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    APD is a difficult tax to avoid-they can make laws difficult to avoid when they really want to hit a certain class.

    1) options – break your long haul-journey into 2 flights- with a stay/delay, but you incur other costs.
    2) use other airports in the EU, again extra costs.

    I am not sure if there is a APD or super APD for private jets/helicopters? Anyone know?

    After all its purpose is to raise tax and discourage frivolous air travel.

    I heard small Thorium reactors could be built to power planes (google Thorium Oak Ridge National Lab projects). Makes you wonder if cheap, clean energy really is wanted or is this just all a political control fraud.

    • forthurst
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Oak Ridge appear to have been ‘at it’ since about 1950, ie before the advent of turbofan powered commercial aircraft.

    • Martyn
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      APD does not apply to genral aviation (GA) aircraft such as private small planes and helos. Thankfully, otherwise yet another freedom to go where one wants when one wants at already significant fuel and landing fee costs would wither on the vine.

      Thorium? It is a mystery as to why it has been so long ignored by the UK. It is about as plentiful as lead, far safer and more stable than uranium, non fissile (cannot explode) but is fertile and can be used in breeder nuclear reactors. In fact there is another thorium in the world that, properly used, could be used to provide reliable power for centuries to come. Yet, until recently has been deliberately ignored, perhaps because it offers little in the way of fissile material for making nuclear weapons.

      Thorium has th e potential to provide us with a relatively clean and almost limitless source of power without causing concerns as to nuclear weapons, radiation polution and toxic waste. It would make windmills and water dams look a silly waste of time, money and valuable resources. China and other nations are starting to work seriously on thorium reactors and so should we, as soon as possible in my view, before the lights go out for 10 hours a day as we shut down our power stations in compliance with EU directives.

  22. Mark
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    The tax is keeping a lid on the numbers of flights and passengers, which remain below 2007 levels. It’s diverting airline business to continental hubs, which enhances the UK’s green credentials but harms the economy (and actually probably results in greater global emissions as overall routes are longer). Heathrow has cut its links with many domestic airports (AMS serves 22 British cities, LHR just 6) and offers fewer foreign ones that its competitors.

    Of course, this means that there is no apparent need for a third runway at Heathrow or any other airport expansion or new airport project. I must admit that some of the current cost estimates for new airport capacity are rather frightening at £40bn+: even with its cost overruns and delays, Berlin Brandenburg is now estimated at €4.3bn, and the new HK International island airport cost $20bn.

    APD raised £2.6bn in 2011/12. The question is whether reducing the tax would boost other tax revenues sufficiently to offset it, or at least foster positive economic development.

  23. NickW
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Air Passenger Duty, Road Fuel Duty, Vehicle taxes, and road tolls are all taxes on mobility which constitute a straitjacket on the employment market and the economy.

    The rich love them because they can easily afford them and they free the roads (and airports), for their expensive cars. We will end up like Communist Russia where only the elite were allowed to travel and the rest of the population was chained to their locality and impoverished of opportunity.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      But there is no evidence that people are travelling less. In fact every time i take my olf Ford Fiesta to the petrol station I am surrounded by great gas guzzling four by fours. If drivers were really feeling the pinch (which they aren’t), they wouldn’t drive off roaders to the shops or commute in vehicles more suited to farmland.

      Ideally, we should raise the tax on vehicle fuel higher, perhaps to as much as £2, and use the money raised to increase the personal allowance, ideally to half the average wage. No one who lives in a town or a village, needs to drive a 4×4; it’s just a status thing.

  24. David
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    With APD it is not just the amount it is the unfairness an almost empty plane pay less tax than a full one despite the amount of CO2 it produces.
    I don’t mind taxes on flying, but it should be fairer.
    I don’t mind taxes providing a) the overall level is not too high and b) all the taxes are fair. For example stamp duty or tax to make my family live in a small house for ever – is unfair.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Then introduce an additional tax for planes as well, perhaps based on the number of empty seats.

  25. Stephen Gash
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    England gave the Conservatives a massive victory in 2010 on their “lower taxes bring higher revenues” policy. Scotland voted for Scots-led Labour to keep on pandering to Scots by shovelling cash and jobs into Scotland.

    Northern England returned several Tory MPs after decades of Labour, such as Carlisle.

    What was the point? The Conservative-led government has increased Labour’s favouritism for Scotland over England. English forests and playing fields are being sold to generate Barnett cash for Scotland while Scotland’s remain untouched.

    The coalition plans to renege on its pledge to reverse Labour’s regionalisation of England by introducing regional pay and benefits. Scotland’s public sector, such as nurses, police and teachers, already receive higher pay than those in England, so consequently higher pensions too. All this is funded by English taxpayers, that is, those who voted Conservative.

    Why would English voters make the same mistake again?

  26. Alte Fritz
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Tax tends to be popular so long as someone else pays it.

  27. Matthew
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    As children we took holidays at B&B’s at the coast. Overseas travel was beyond our experience.
    In later years the advent of the budget airlines has enabled people of limited means to enjoy overseas family breaks in the sun. (A hospital porter with two children say)
    This has had little to do with politicians, much to do with the low overhead model, and the better technology of the aircraft, lower running costs, more fuel efficient.
    These people on the bottom income rung then get squeezed out of the market; the cost of their flights can be almost doubled with taxes.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      So we have to breathe in more air pollutants, just so your latest deserving case can go on holiday. People on the right moaning about APD are no different from those on the left who use child poverty to justify giving out more and more benefits.

  28. norman
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Democracy is the last thing this government should now be worrying about. The next election’s lost, that’s as sure as eggs are eggs. May as well spend the next half much as the first, tinker a percent or two here, hope that that the printing would spiral out of control, and not introduce one new idea or change of direction from the Brown / Darling years.

    People (including me) complain about Brown’s attendance. He’s there every day in the Treasury, maybe not in person but directing policy. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Osborne calls Brown up for advice because 1) It’s obvious to any sentient being Osborne is completely clueless, and 2) things have progressed along the exact path they would have had Labour won.

  29. Neil Craig
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    “and in a democracy the voices of the people have a role to play.”

    I like they way that is phrased. In this country we are fighting to retain the people having some role in how we are governed. In a true democracy, of course, the role of the people is all that matters – as the derivation of the word suggests.

    I doubt if there has ever been a true perfect democracy anywhere (& perhaps perfection would not be desirable) but we are certainly very far from it here & now.

  30. Alan Wheatley
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Has not Cameron already said that there is no point in imposing UK taxes with the specific objective of saving the planet when in fact they will achieve no such thing, but will drive jobs abroad?

    So where does APD fit in with this statement of the blindingly obvious?

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      It raises a nice sum of money. Or perhaps you would prefer a little hike on income tax or a freeze in personal allowances? Even better would be a higher tax rate on all alcohol sold from retail premises and to cap it all, legalise soft drugs and start taxing them too.

  31. Alan Wheatley
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    There is absolutely no point what so ever in putting on the hair shirt in an endeavour to counter AGW when the World Population is growing dramatically. Indeed, many think such gowth is a good thing rather than an impending disaster.

    And the balance of demand to resources will be made much worse as all Third-World populations will aspire to live a “Western” lifestyle.

  32. Max Dunbar
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Is APD the lesser of two evils? Jet-A1 which is fuel for passenger jets is exempt from excise duty at present. If it were to be taxed at the same level as road fuel there would be outrage. The EU proposed a tax on Jet-A1 some years ago apparently. APD is no doubt easier to enforce and collect for the government. They take the course of least resistance as always.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      @Max Dunbar: Why does there need to be either?…

      “Either/Or” is not a coherent argument argument unless you define why the tax needs to be levied in the first place.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Tax aviation fuel!! Why should someone travelling on holiday abroad use tax exempt fuel, yet someone going to work in the UK has to pay tax on their fuel, whether they travel by car, bus or train. it’s madness.

  33. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    At the back of all this is that the people who have been saying that climate change is occuring have been less than open about their research. They have kept the data to themselves and (in a few cases) falsified the results.

    The government can cure this lack of trust by invoking the Freedom of Information Act on behalf of the public. All government funded climate change research institutes should publish an annual report outlining the data held and the analysis undertaken, and should prepare data disks for sale to the public and to sceptics.

    That’s open government for you.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Wouldn’t it be easier for the climate change deniers to conduct their own research, rather than demanding other people had over their research? Could it be because the deniers don’t know how to do scientific research that they want other people’s research.

      Also scientific institutions do publish the results of their research in scientific journals such as New Scientist. Perhaps you should try reading them.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        But they don’t publish the source material, just their spin on it. If it’s publicly funded, it should made available to everybody.

        • uanime5
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

          As I stated in my posts why not apply for funding and conduct your own research? You shouldn’t expect other people to do the work for you.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        @uanime5: Lindsay is talking about raw data not the spun message, sure the latter is published, ‘nough said…

    • Jerry
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      Considering that much of this “research” is funded via our taxes I would suggest that all data should be placed in the public domain and made available FOC, primarily via the internet but on disc if people request it.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Try Google Earth, have a look at the North Pole and save yourself a lot of tedious reading.

  34. Antisthenes
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Living in France and recently having to travel to Canada I looked at the cost of flights and naturally compared flying from Paris with flying from London. It had been my previous experience that booking travel to foreign parts out of he UK was seriously less expensive than other parts of Europe even if it incurred extra costs to get there. I was amazed to find that this is no longer true and the UK is a very expensive place to fly from. Of course the consequences of this apart from fleecing the Brits Brits and others are going to start travelling to the continent when they fly abroad. A new runway at Heathrow will soon be far from necessary and of course the UK will be poorer for it. Another example of how too high a tax is self-defeating.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      I’d be prepared to pay a bit to avoid experiencing the airports around Paris!!

  35. Bert Young
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Get out of the EU and put the UK’s contribution to reducing taxation across the board .82% have shown their support for this – a sure vote winner !

  36. David John Wilson
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    It would be much better if APD was replaced by a tax on aircraft fuel. This would at least make the airlines look at using their aircraft more effeciently. It would also put pressure on aircraft movements on the ground being carried out by a more efficient manner than using the plane’s engines.
    The requirement to use less fuel in aircraft is not just a green issue and so subject to the state of denial put forward by many contributing to this blog. It is also a requirement needed to contribute to the improvement of the UKs balance of payments.

    • Mark
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      Taxing fuel only works if it is taxed globally. Otherwise, aircraft simply don’t refuel in the UK, and probably choose to base elsewhere.

      • John Wrexham
        Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Why are people moaning about paying a small tax to the UK Government, when by buying fuel we are paying a far greater sum to governments in the Middle East. Are all the free market barking at the moon right wingers secretly fans of the middle eastern regimes?

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Sensible comment, david!!

  37. Richard1
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    The issue needs to be addressed more robustly than that. If the Govt (and opposition) think the world is going to hell in a handcart due to man-made global warming then they should impose more and more green taxes however unpopular so as to reduce CO2 emissions. If, on the other hand, they are uncertain about the reason for global warming, or indeed whether there is any global warming at all, then there is no justification for any ‘green’ taxes or subsidies. Given the way opinion – and increasing evidence – is pointing, the Conservatives would do well to give themselves some room for manoeuvre by announcing a full independent enquiry into the whole issue of global warming – where the evidence is – and the possible policy responses.

  38. Adam5x5
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    So close Mr Redwood.
    Yes, APD is angering people.

    So are all the other taxes. Fuel duty in particular.
    Cut ALL taxes, and cut spending.
    Any tax to influence behaviour (such as drinking less) should be illegal – it is not the place for government to tell the populace how to live.
    The government is there to provide the state monopoly services (defence, justice, overseas diplomacy, limited social benefits eg. dole). That is all – it is not a nanny to tell us what is bad for us. We are perfectly capable of deciding what is bad for us and whether we want to do it.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      As long as the Government has to provide medical care for everyone who has injured themselves drinking and the courts for when alcoholics injure other people they have every right to tax alcohol.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        But the government DOESN’T HAVE TO. It chooses to by making medical care free at the point of consumption, one of the most asinine things that a totally bankrupt nation can do.

        • uanime5
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          Even if the government didn’t pay for medical care they still have to pay to prosecute people for any crimes they committed while drunk.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        @uanime5: But all the time these people are funding the government via the taxes applied to those substances…

        • uanime5
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          And if we follow Adam5x5’s plan alcoholics will no longer be paying towards the problem they cause.

          • Adam5x5
            Posted September 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

            But neither would we be paying for their care or habits.

            It’s also not beyond the remit of the justice system to force the criminal to pay for the damage they have caused.

            We have to pay for the justice system to prosecute whether the (potential) criminal is drunk or sober – it’s a cost of a civilised society.

            Under my proposal, the populace or not forced to pay for the behaviour and habits of people with no self-control. the system would encourage and reward self-reliance, self-control and responsibility – something the current system fails at comprehensively.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      I don’t support APD because it stops people from flying, but because it is a brilliant way of raising cash from people who obviously have plenty of disposable income. If it allows, the government to reduce income tax and national insurance, then the more taxes we have on pollutants and other social bads the better!!

      If people are capable of deciding what is good or bad, how come our prison population is at near record levels, despite all Ken Clark’s efforts to keep a lid on the numbers going to prison. Your basic premise is wrong. Time for a rethink, or perhaps even some thinking at all.

  39. David Cooper
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    I sent the AFTOF email to my local Tory MP and received a standard form response straight out of Sir Humphrey’s precedent bank, defending APD but pleading that efforts have been made etc (at least it stopped short of “we’re all in it together”). Another user of the AFTOF email with a Tory MP in a different constituency received the same response, word for word. Thankfully present company will take the trouble to listen and to recognise that there is good reason for annoyance.

  40. Vanessa
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    We will be consigned to true poverty in years to come with the US halving energy prices with their Shale Gas, China building more coal plants and the rest of the world getting on with progress. We, in the EU dictatorship, can only look on with envy at the rest of the world powering ahead while we languish on wind electricity which only works for 30 minutes per day and probably not every day. What will our poticians do? They will bleat on about how wonderful we’ve been reducing CO2 by .000000000000001%

  41. merlin
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    @ David John Wilson-recommended reading- “Watermelons” James Delingpole-just a quote to consider from this well thought out tome, to whet your appetite:-

    Propaganda by global warming sceptics and deniers reminds me of 1944, when as an army officer I saw living skeletons in striped pyjamas. Horror stories about nazi concentration camps suddenly rang true.I wondered how intelligent people could commit such attrocities. History records the effectiveness of Joseph Goebbel’s propaganda. I hope Al Gore and others prevail over today’s anti-science propaganda. ( Lee Bidgood Jr. Florida war veteran )
    I will make no comment, but consider the madness of crowds, and for me anybody who is brainwashed by green propaganda should read this book.

    Reply: There is, of course, no similarity between the atrocities of the Nazis and people who believe in human led global warming

  42. David in Kent
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    The reason these extra taxes on ‘bad’ activities are so irritating is the idea you should feel guilty about doing these things which a bunch of self-righteous lefties regard as ‘bad’ and therefore not mind paying a lot of tax.
    In the case of APD the high level applied to business travel in particular doesn’t do anything to encourage sending sales people travelling the world to drum up business.

  43. Jon
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Any tax rise now is unpopular. We are taxed heavily, its spending that needs to reduce.

    Its been the case that its easier to tax the private sector rather than to confront the civil service rise in spending year on year for far too long.

    Many parts of the private sector have had to adjust to competing in a very competitive globalised world. What they could afford in the past is not what they can afford now. The state costing 50% of total earnings is too much especially when we have addtional costs to face in the future.

  44. uanime5
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps airline companies should be required to show the total cost of the flight including all taxes. This way they can’t make prices seem cheaper by ignoring APD and other taxes.

    Also there’s a reason why all the climate change deniers aren’t scientists and aren’t able to conduct scientific investigations. Try to guess why.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      They are certainly unable to get government funding.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Are you a scientist yourself “uanime5”, unless you are how can you be so sure that man made climate change is real – oh and note the man made part, only a fool would claim that the climate doesn’t change or hasn’t changed, (and for a lot longer than the climate change scientists often suggest with their hockey sticks and the like)?….

      • uanime5
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        I’ve read peer reviewed scientific studies that have shown that the increase in CO2 output by human activities over the past hundred years has caused the average global temperature to increase.

        What evidence do you have that your “hockey stick” predictions are an accurate representation of scientific studies, as opposed to strawmen created by deniers?

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted September 5, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

          So what we want in the public domain is all the CO2 measurements around the world that have been financed by government funding. It would also be helpful to know which locations are not above a filling station in Hawaii or similar unrepresentative locations.

          That should be complemented by measurements of CO2 absorption by the world’s oceans and an understanding of the world’s complex carbon cycle.

          Again, as much raw data as possible and as little opinion as possible from your favourite ‘researchers’.

  45. John Wrexham
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Air Passenger Duty is one of the most sensible taxes. You have to have a certain amount of wealth to take advantage of air travel and at its present level it is hardly a massive imposition. The poor don’t fly, so the poor don’t pay. The richer you are, the more likely you are to fly so you contribute more to the pot. If we scrap APD, who will make up the difference? When you fly, your aeroplane belches a whole lot of pollutants over the neighbourhood, so i think you should contribute something positive to society ie a small amount of tax to be spent for the greater good e.g. roads so you can drive your car to the airport.

    The tax also has the benefit of annoying Michael O’Leary and Willy Walsh, a little pain is worth that gain. All we now need to do is extend VAT to aviation fuel so air travel is treated the same as other forms of travel.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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