Brown doubles air tax - Jersey becomes even less competitive

The UK's Prime Minister in waiting, Gordon Brown, has dealt a blow to air travellers today by announcing that APD (Air Passenger Duty) for short haul flights will double from £5.00 to £10.00 from February 2007. On the face of it a fiver doesn't sound too bad - on average fares will only increase by 7% for short haul journeys. The problem is that it's the same charge whether you are flying for 35 minutes from London to Jersey, or 4 hours to Athens! I'm not an environmental expert, but surely anyone can see that there is a slight discrepancy here.

Ticket prices to Jersey, which are lower than to many other European destinations, will be hit by a much higher overall percentage increase - adding to the already uncompetitive Jersey landing charges.

I'm all in favour of government taking steps to address carbon emissions, but surely there should be a link between distance travelled (and therefore fuel burned) and the tax paid.

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