How to fix Air Passenger Duty


The Telegraph recently ran a petition to combat Air Passenger Duty (APD) which I signed.

Some Background Information

  • APD is a tax levied on flights in the UK, except private and business jets
  • APD is almost 400% more in the UK than most other EU member state
  • Holland and Denmark have scrapped their versions of APD as bad for the country
  • In 2007  APD was £80 for a family of four to fly to Florida, in 2012 its £260
  • http://www.afairtaxonflying.org/

So I signed the petition online and thought no more of it until today when I received a letter from the House of Commons thanking me for contacting them and pointing out that APD is used to pay off a structural budget deficit .

Did I mention that the government sell APD as an environmental tax?  Maybe it should be invested in environmental projects, like HS2.

It occurs to me that this money is being paid to banks, which the tax payer has just had to bail out – according to the Guardian to the tune of £123 billon.

So here’s my radical solution, tell the banks to write off all UK debt and stop paying themselves huge – £1 billion for just one bank – bonuses from the Tax payers pocket or we’ll cancel their licence to operate in the UK as seize their assets.

Anyway, back to the letter, printed on nice heavy weight, eggshell type paper, with a lovely embossed header and a custom printed envelope.

Did I mention that they have my email address?

  • 1st class franking £0.44
  • nice paper and envelope, say £0.20
  • Time for MP to sign – assume 30 seconds – £0.29

That means this letter cost £0.91 to send and if we take an average of the signups to the top 20 petitions we get 40,973.15 respondents.

So responding to the petition has cost £37,285.57.

Just think about that for a second – £37,285.57, Thirty Seven Thousand, Two Hundred and Eighty Five Pounds and Fifty Seven Pence – more than most people earn in a year.

And this is just one petition – for a fairly niche issue –  out of 12,880 currently open on the governments website.  Do the math, that can easily amount to hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

So here’s my next crazy thought, next time email me and use the money saved to pay off these crippling debts, or employ a nurse, or teacher, or just give it to charity anything but waste it like this.

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Author: Stuart

Crazy Person

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