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Untaxed perks for the jet set

19 March 2010
A new untaxed perk for bankers and other highly paid business people has been revealed in new research by the Campaign for Better Transport.

More than 67,000 flights in private jets and ‘air taxis’ last year avoided paying any tax[1], despite emitting up to 30 times [2] more carbon dioxide per passenger, according to the research.

Unlike conventional passengers, who pay £11 for short haul and up to £110 for long haul flights, small jet aircraft, used almost exclusively by very wealthy business people and bankers, are exempt.

In a recent poll for easyJet, 80% supported charging private jets the same rate of tax as conventional flights.[3]

The Campaign has urged the Chancellor, Alastair Darling, to use the upcoming Budget to close the loophole.

Executive Director Stephen Joseph said:

"It’s unfair that ordinary air passengers pay tax on their flights while highly paid business people in private jets escape scot free.

"Private jets are the most polluting way to travel, so why should they be exempt from tax when everyone else has to pay?"

Notes to the editors:

[1] Report available

[2] Figures from Farnborough Airport (one of the centres for business flights) show that in pollution terms each passenger on a business flight is responsible for 30 times the pollution of a London City Airport passenger and 12 times the pollution (carbon dioxide emissions) of a Gatwick passenger. The CO2 from just one Farnborough business passenger is also equivalent to about two-thirds of the average annual emissions per person in the UK.

[3] An October 2009 poll by YouGov for easyJet found that 80% of people supported charging private and cargo jets the same rate of APD as conventional flights.