First of all I would like to address some concerns about the Bill was presented. I admit that the original notes section was unclear, and for that I am sorry; however, at no point did the Bill lie, and all the information was there for those who was interested. In addition, in response to some confusions within the party over the Bill, I wrote an updated notes section including a very simple and easy to understand costing of the Bill, and although due to a mistake the Bill was not sent to vote with them (any member of UKIP, the Liberals and Conservatives can check the forums to see that this was indeed a genuine mistake, not some plot to "deceive" to house), I provided a copy of the notes within 15 mins of Sairose asking for more details, and have now asked the speaker to add them to the Bill that is being voted on, which he has done.
Now, I would like to address the issues of the supposed "tax cut" on airline companies. The real life airline tax is often considered to be high and uncompetitive. Although they have a right of center bias, I find the economist is a generally reliable source of information, and their article
explains how we have the 2nd highest airline tax in the world (after chad), and for example TEN TIMES higher than in France, which has airports in Paris that compete with us; BCC estimates the impact at about 10 billion pounds on GDP, though they are prone to exaggerate and I wouldn't be surprised if the true figure was half that (though still twice as much as the tax raises). This article
also sums up some of the recent and fairly large increases in recent times. This also
mentions growing discontent with the tax and a petition that has reached 100,000 signatures, as well as this one
, which highlights impact on smaller airports such as Glasgow and Newcastle.
Now, in real life this tax, which has been so often attacked as too high, raises 2.2 billion pounds from airlines per year. In TSR, we currently raise 3.4 billion, which means that the taxes that are already one of the world's highest and have kept rising over the past decade, have risen by another 55% IN THE SPACE OF JUST ONE YEAR. This would certainly have a devastating impact on both airlines and passengers, as well as on the usual gains from business links, etc, as flights try to move to places like Paris where the tax will now be 15 times cheaper. The aim of the Bill is to cancel this rise (which by the way no one ever noticed, and I am convinced that it was an accidental rise- at no point in the Carbon Tax Bill discussion was it noted that airline taxes would rise by 55% over one year) and to restore the tax to the current real life levels of 2.2 billion (as well as raising them in what is considered a more efficient method for the environment)
In answer to any queries about the fiscal position of TSR, there are plans to see if money can be raised elsewhere or cut elsewhere in completely separate Bills, and our fiscal position is slightly better than real life, so I would not be too worried about that.
Finally, I would just like to add that what is often advertised as a "tax on airlines," is in fact in the majority of cases also the exact same thing as a "tax on consumers," as evidence suggests that a lot of the APD has been passed on to passengers.
It would also be nice if someone could please post a copy of this reply in the division lobby so people can see that their concerns are being addressed. Thanks.