Lib Dems propose tax on domestic flights

The Liberal Democrats have proposed introducing a levy on domestic flights as part of the party’s tax plans announced at the end of November.

It is aimed at discouraging travellers from flying within the UK to places served by rail and would be set at £20 per passenger.

The charge would only be levied on flights to and from destinations that can be reached by train in less than six hours so people who live in the farthest reaches of the country are not penalised. The party estimates it would raise £400m a year. It had previously proposed a £10 per passenger charge (ENDS Report 392, pp 32-33 ).

The Lib Dems also reiterated their support for a tax on planes rather than on air passengers. This would encourage airlines to ensure aircraft are fully loaded and bring cargo flights under the tax. The proposal has already been made by the government and the Conservatives, although Labour subsequently dropped it (ENDS Report 407, p 45 ). The Lib Dems estimate it would raise £2.2bn per year.

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