Magazine article The Spectator

The Poorest Don't Fly

Magazine article The Spectator

The Poorest Don't Fly

Article excerpt

From Richard Laming Sir: I have no objection to cheap flights, but I do have an objection to irrational tax policies ('The plane truth', 4 February).

The fuel used by planes on international passenger flights goes untaxed thanks to a prohibition in the 1944 Chicago Convention, whereas the fuel you put in your car is taxed at 47.1 pence per litre. This means that the most environmentally damaging form of transport pays the lowest rate of tax, which is surely irrational.

But, as well as being irrational, it also falls unfairly on the poor. Those who can afford to travel by air tend to be richer than average -- the very poorest people cannot afford to fly at all -- so this is a loophole that benefits the rich.

Richard Laming London SE1 From P.L. Hill Sir: I too have vomited on the ghastly crossing between Holyhead and Rosslare, but if Brendan O'Neill wants to visit Galway why must he use Luton airport? Snobbery is not the reason that there has been a massive local protest at the projected expansion eventually planned for up to 30,000 passengers. …

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