easyJet is urging an end to the “seemingly endless cycle of ill-conceived, unworkable” tax proposals that are being threatened on air travellers.
According to the Stern Review, aviation contributes only 1.6% of global greenhouse gasses, rising to only 2.5% by 2050. The imposition of unilateral tax schemes on an international business risks damaging the economy and incentivising perverse behaviour as companies look for ways around the local tax regimes.
Ideas such as imposing VAT on domestic tickets, adding a fuel duty to domestic flights or limiting people’s ability to travel have been suggested in the past, but always rejected as unworkable, costly, complex to manage and easy to abuse.
It is for this reason that easyJet has long supported the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme as the right way to bring down emissions across the industry. Politicians of all colours in all European countries appear to have recognised that a market-based mechanism is the right way to approach aviation and local taxes have no place in an international industry - especially in an island so very dependent on air links for its international mobility.
Andy Harrison, easyJet Chief Executive, said:
“There is a more measured and more efficient approach than simply asking people to pay more tax. Air Passenger Duty is ripe for reform, but politicians must learn the lessons of history and realise that an island economy in a globalised world needs international solutions in an international industry.
“Indeed, the industry is working towards the introduction of aviation into the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme from 2011 which will provide a financial incentive for airlines to operate the cleanest aircraft available - this is the right way to balance aviation’s huge social and economic contribution with its impact on climate change. Anything else just looks like meaningless political posturing”