Well, I’m not sure that’s going to happen, but at least the signalling of the refusal to continue Labour’s escalating taxes on both airfares and on petrol/diesel is a welcome start.
The amount of the tax is not currently appropriate, being focussed on the disbenefits generated by travel, rather than the many and various economic and other benefits aviation delivers for the UK.
There’s no doubt in my mind that aviation does have to bear some form of taxation burden, but it doesn’t seem right that it should be borne directly by individual travellers who have little influence on the efficiency of their journey – paying the same to travel on a gas guzzling SAS MD-80 as a brand new BA Embraer.
Once aviation taxes are collected, they should be spent on aviation infrastructure to increase runway capacity, re-organise European Air Traffic Control and encouraging more fuel efficient aircraft to genuinely deliver a more environmentally efficient journey for everyone.
I also think that aviation fuel may well be subjected to a 5% tax in due course; not terrific in my view, but better than this warped APD tax which has got out of hand.