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Tories’ proposed tax on flights meets heavy flak

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The Conservative Party’s plan to tax flights in a bid to control environmental problems caused by aircraft emissions provoked an angry reaction from a host of critics incensed at the plan to generate UK investment into the Treasury in this way.

The proposals, announced by Shadow Chancellor George Osborne, include an air miles allowance for each passenger, and levying duty or VAT on fuel used on domestic flights.

The plan is for Osborn to use the tax revenue generated in this way to pay for tax cuts for families. Inside sources said that the Tories’ first definite tax pledge – probably a tax break for married couples – will be announced at the party conference in the autumn.

An alternative saving and investment tax plan – scrapping air passenger duty in favour of a ‘per flight’ tax based on carbon emissions was also being considered.

But a host of critics from the ranks of tour operators, airlines and Government ministers attacked the plans as unworkable and detrimental to the UK economy.

City analyst Colin Perry said: “As ever, business is seen as the easy target to generate more tax revenue for the Treasury. This proposed change is simply bad legislation in my view and will do nothing to help saving and investment into the UK economy.”



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