The David Cameron-led Conservative Party in the UK is a travesty. If any party deserved a beating in its forthcoming election more than the 2006 Republicans, it's the Tories across the pond. Cameron's latest foolishness: taxing Brits out of traveling.
In essence, [the party's policy document] suggests that we will all be allowed one short-haul return flight a year at the standard rate of tax (thus, according to the authors, not penalising “ordinary families” enjoying their annual holidays) but after that VAT or another levy would be imposed. Everyone would have a “personal green miles allowance”.
Huh? Seriously, this idea is so loopy even the average enviros don't suggest it. Worse yet, tax the airlines for not filling their flights after the other higher taxes have already reduced demand!
One option that the report floats is to tax airlines for the number of empty seats they fly — seats that would be unoccupied only because other taxes had ensured that some people couldn’t afford them. Those put off would surely be “ordinary people” on domestic flights because most other travellers in this sector are on business trips and could reclaim the VAT later. It is insane.
It is also absurdly statist. It represents a degree of micromanagement over what human beings do that the governments of the old Warsaw Pact would have been proud of.
Did the Brits actually have a real conservative in the Conservative Party for about 11 years, say 1979-90, or did I just imagine that? Talk about the Decline and Fall . . .