If you’re lucky enough to get Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, Nigella Lawson and other celebrated British chefs into a room, you’ll probably get a meal worthy of being your last. When you get a room full of grandstanding politicians and morons, who are often one in the same together, you generally get a sh*t sandwich. The secret ingredient? A proposal aimed at taxing frequent travelers… because we’re all rich snobs traveling for fun right?

a large airplane on the runway

For the main course, there is a think tank plan to tax you MORE for every single flight you take in or out of the UK. I have no opinion on runway expansion or the underlying green issues but I have serious opinions on stupidity. Under the new proposal, take one flight per year, no tax. For every subsequent flight, you pay an escalating tax, every time. More flying, higher taxes. God forbid anyone has a good year at work, can afford a second vacation and (thanks to my money saving tips) takes one, they’ll subsequently be labeled as jet setting well heeled tax barons. The tax, proposed by a highly funded lobbying group in the United Kingdom, has anyone traveling more than once per year locked in their crosshairs, accusing leisure travel as the culprit for all of the UK’s problems, while arguing that any air traffic expansion would not improve UK business or taxation despite arguments to the contrary. My thoughts? If this happens, everyone will simply avoid flying in or out of the United Kingdom, take their business elsewhere and there will be no tax revenue at all. To summarize their ludicrous argument: if we tax those who travel frequently for leisure (any reason), they’ll travel less and we won’t need more flights or a third runway. Any thoughts on business travel? I suppose not….

a sign in a building

In case you haven’t noticed, I write about traveling more (and better) without making more. It’s for everyone. I’m not rich and whether you are or not, you shouldn’t be punished for traveling more or less than anyone. We all travel for different reasons and we all pay a tax every time we fly already. There’s one thing you’ve definitely noticed, it’s expensive to fly in or out of the United Kingdom. Whether you’re using miles or paying out of pocket, flying in or out of the United Kingdom automatically triggers a steep passenger duty. Lucky enough to fly upfront? There’s a premium passenger tax added to the already steep tax! New York to London is currently the most popular route in the world and the current tax system on air passengers brings in billions of positive revenue for the United Kingdom each year. Why Change what works?

From the Guardian

“Under the plan, backed by the Campaign for Better Transport, the New Economics Foundation, the Tax Justice Network, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth among others, air passenger duty would be scrapped and replaced by a new frequent flyers levy. Everyone would be able to take one flight a year without paying any levy, but for subsequent journeys the levy would rise each time.”

a sign in front of a building

Sh*t sandwich indeed. The argument is that seventy percent of travel in the United Kingdom is done by fifteen percent of the population and that mom and pop who fly once a year are getting squeezed out by the £5-£80 (by destination and cabin) tax. In the quest for business and pleasure, business travel has become less definable, which is at the center of this groups argument in claiming that any expansion would just fuel millionaire holidays and not productivity. In the same argument, this group manages to attack the “low fares” (umm…where?) in the country arguing that they are not sustainable and are highly subsidized. What’s worse, higher fares, higher taxes or both? Everyone loses, none of the above. This new miraculous, all encompassing, ingenious plan to stop the construction of another runway and prohibit more air traffic, while simultaneously re erecting Atlantis will put the tax burden on anyone who hopes to be able to vacation more in a nation already flush with taxes. Is there a sliding tax scale to punish those with half cocked ideas? I know who’d be at the top of the tax chart. I highly suggest using your personal influence via correspondence and social media to influence this pivotal move. If anyone ever deserved boo’s walking down the aisle of a plane….

As Always, Get in Touch: GodSaveThePoints@gmail.com

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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