Speaking at a London press conference Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary had a message for Chancellor Brown's increased APD taxes:"If you're going to tax anyone, tax business class."
At a London press conference and speaking in his own inimitable way Ryanair boss Michael O”Leary had a message for Chancellor Brown”s increased APD taxes: ”If you”re going to tax anyone, tax business class.”
For once in agreement with the majority of the aviation industry, O”Leary spoke of the inconsistency of taxing for environmental reasons but not putting any of the money into the environment. ”Gordon Brown is using the current middle class global warming hysteria to steal money from the travelling public.” He, like many others in the industry, is keen to remind us that aviation accounts for just 1.6% of CO2 emissions, emphasising that taxation does nothing to help the planet: ”If taxation worked, road transport (which is another heavily taxed form of transport) would not account for 18% of emissions.”
His message, perhaps unsurprisingly, called for a stop to aviation taxes; failing that, he asked that the government tax anyone but him. ”Penalise old aircraft, penalise business class for wasting all that space, penalise connecting flights,” he said. Taxing should be on a per passenger basis, he argues, so that first and business long haul flights get taxed in proportion to the amount their ticket costs.
When asked if he thought the public cared enough about the environment to pay extra he said that cost was still the driving force behind booking air travel, and that if Ryanair had the highest CO2 emissions but the lowest fares, they would still be the most popular choice.