Greenfly (2)

The socialist Brit Tories are even dumber than their Democratic counterparts – their plan to cut Brit air travel needs a tax of thousands of pounds a trip, and will enrage the entire electorate and wreck the economy.

We’ve satirized the Tory plan to ration Brit air travel as Project Greenfly. Their rationale:

New taxes on air passengers will be offset by cuts in the amount of taxation paid by families, David Cameron, the Conservative leader, said today…

“What we have said is any green taxes we introduce will be offset by cutting taxes on families, or on business, one for one,”..

Since he wants to force Brits to fly less, his flight tax has to be high enough to achieve that – not just raise more tax. So what’s the level?

The easiest bunch of voters to dissuade are vacationing families on a tight budget. Doubling each of four £100 air tickets may be all that’s needed to force them to stay home – a Greenfly tax of £100/ticket.

Next come voters with second homes overseas:

About 400,000 voters own second homes abroad. On average, they make three visits per year to their properties, meaning they would be hit twice by the proposed tax.

What tax level makes them cut their annual visits to their vacation homes from three to two?

If their vacation home cost, say £100,000, one less visit means giving up a third of its present value – that’s £30,000 over perhaps 10 years – £3,000 a year. If the current air fare for a couple is £200, it’s hard to see them giving up a benefit of £3,000 until the Greenfly tax approaches that – £1,500 a ticket.

Finally, the UK is a trading nation, so much of its air travel is business. What air fares tax rate would force, say, Goldman Sachs’ UK managers, consultants and back office folks to cut flying by a third?

Since most multinationals have travel policies strictly limiting First Class travel, the tax would probably have to force Business fares up to First Class level – between £500 and £3,000 a person, depending on destination.

So the Tory Greenfly tax will need to be somewhere between £100 and £3,000.

But it’ll be impossible to have tax levels depend on why people travel – otherwise all the GS folks will pretend they’re flying on vacation! So that means setting the tax at the highest level – several thousand pounds a trip.

And that will shut down Brit leisure travel and cause an exodus of UK of companies that rely on international travel – banks, software outfits, consultancies etc.

So the UK will be poor, and the Tories toxic.

Again.

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6 Responses to Greenfly (2)

  1. fifthdecade says:

    You’re a bit mixed up – the US Democrats are the equivalent of Blair’s New Labour; the Tories are the party that is most similar to the US Republican party, espousing as it does low taxes, less red tape for business, restirction of immigration, family values etc.

    In simple terms, the Democrats are to the left of the Republicans, Labour is to the left of the Tories (Conservatives). Those of a conservative mindset in both countries go for the right wing party – Republican or Conservative.

    As for your main point, in many cases it is easier and quicker to take the train. Many of those Brits you mentioned as having second homes abroad have them in the Pas de Calais, Normadie, and Bretagne departements and use their cars and a ferry, or the Eurostar and Eurotunnel to get to their homes; some even live in France and commute to the UK to work!

  2. fifthdecade

    Sure, the Tories are traditionally conservative. And some of Cameron’s policies still are, notably his support for Trident renewal. And there are some lefty Republicans – John Warner of Virginia for example.

    But most Republicans are way to the right of the Tories – there’s a very funny joke to that effect, but I’ve unaccountably forgotten it.

    You may be right that Brits will switch to the train, not just to France but to Spain and Italy as well. Still, it’ll be interesting to contrast the carbon footprint of that with flying!

    Doesn’t effect my point though – the Greenfly tax will have to be high enough to stop the financial, consultancy, and high tech sectors from flying. And that will be eye-wateringly high. And there are no trains to the US, Japan and China.

  3. Calvin Jones says:

    Hello depleteduranium,

    Just to pick up on your last point on how this has to/will work/fail. Infact what Cameron is trying to do is limit GROWTH of aviation, not stop flying all together. The way he is trying to do this is to introduce a tax on aviation travel (in the policy document it is made clear that this will be met with tax cuts elsewhere such as general taxation) that will be low for the first flight that people take but will escalate for futher flights.

    The reason that he has done this is that Labour have just announced a Climate Change Bill that will make it a law that emissions in the UK must be cut by 60% by 2050. Aviation may be in this bill, if it isn’t then they will be laughed out of parliament! If it is then they will be foreced to introduce similar policies: the tories are getting in first.

    The reason that aviation must be included in the Climate Change Bill is that acording to several studies published in the last few years, growth in aviation related emissions stands to ‘entirely negate’ action taken elsewhere. I.e 0% cuts rather than 60% ! As you may know the UK govronment is trying to take a leadership position on this and such miserable failure would make catalysing an international agreement impossible.

  4. fifthdecade says:

    I think you’d be surprised how right wing some members of the Conservative Party are – Enoch Powell for instance (a few years ago, I grant you) wanted to remove all immigrants from the UK, and by this he meant all non-Whites. The modern Conservative Party just wants to kick out all immigrants, although the leadership under Cameron (the Queen’s distant cousin apparently) distance themselves from those extreme views, but not to the extent where they hound them out of the party like Tony Blari got rid of the ulta-Left wing of the Labour Party.

    Both the GOP and the Tories are full of sleaze and politicians on the make, and both have had members sent to jail – MPs in the UK, senior people in the US such as Cheney’s man, Libby. IMO they both attract the same kind of people, and want the same kind of policies. Whether one is more right wing than the other is immaterial, other than it possibly reflects the relative “rightness” or “leftness” of each country: in each case the GOP and the Tories are both the rightmost electable party in the country, while the Democrats and Labour are the left-most electable party.

    Personally I don’t think Cameron will be elected, although he is trying to put on a Green overcoat, which is all his suggestion is. If he were to get into power he would find a way not to enforce it. Or the Civil Service would. So, it doesn’t matter what promise he makes, what suggestions he comes up with. It’s all style and not substance.

  5. fifthdecade

    My theory (and that of the folks who wrote the US Constitution!) is that some people act without restraint when they get into privileged positions. Such people naturally gravitate to jobs with weak checks and balances.

    Politics is such a safe haven, yielding Democrat felons from Teddy Kennedy to Bill Clinton, and Labour from Harold Wilson to Tony Blair. Plus the Right wingers you name (although not Libby, victim of a political hit).

    I also suspect that Cameron won’t implement his Greenfly tax – if the City ups and leaves, the Brit economy is toast & him with it.

  6. Hello Calvin Jones

    I see the political logic – with Brown forcing Brits to dump incandescent bulbs, Cameron has to double or quit. And he’s chosen to double.

    Whether he’s seeking to cut current air travel or future growth, the effect will be the same – people who would otherwise have traveled will no longer do so.

    That has certain consequences – pensioners will sell their places in Spain, working couples won’t take the kids abroad for holidays, and businesses will curtail travel-intensive activities.

    But tax cuts can’t possibly compensate for this consequential damage!

    Take a company like Vodafone. It’s expanded worldwide by acquisition, and flies an enormous number of managers and technicians around the world to ensure synergy across the group.(I oftern sit next to them!).

    The UK has thousands of such companies – I guess more as a percentage than any other modern economy.

    Cameron just told these companies he’ll stop them expanding. But if they stop, their foreign competitors will eat them. So they’ll either move offshore (taking their tax base with them) or die.

    So I’d have quit rather than doubled – wind backed by nuclear power would have been a much less damaging counter to Brown

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