Reply To: Budget 2011: Osborne to unveil private jet flight tax

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I equally agree with VK’s point about the need for wealth-generation. It is a tight balancing act, I am afraid.

APD may have changed behaviours. But at the very margins, for precisely the reasons that BinMan cites. For F and J class individuals, time is usually money, and I do not believe that a “few additional quid” on a ticket is going to make them revise their plans or abort their trip.

As a transport and environmental professional, I would point out that a massive change is needed to modify behaviours and I cannot see such a change ever being politically acceptable. APD is/was just tinkering at the edges.

In my own personal opinion, we should be far more concerned about the LCC culture of people flying primarily because it is cheap (i.e. often simply “for the sake of it”), rather than to create wealth (and no, I am not saying that people shouldn’t have holidays – tourism is a critical element of wealth creation).

It will be a very interesting year ahead for us all, with Arab unrest having an inevitable impact on oil prices, and the Fukushima disaster casting doubts on future nuclear programmes (as it has already in China) with a potential move back towards coal-fired generation. In this massively strategic context, APD is, I am afraid, a mere “pimple on a sausage” in environmental terms.

Regards, Simon

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