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'GORDON BROWN, A GREEN SHAM' - LORELY BURT MP

February 5, 2007 12:17 PM

A decision by Gordon Brown to double Air Passenger Duty (APD) and sell it as a green tax has been attacked by Solihull MP, Lorely Burt.

Mrs Burt made the attack when speaking to a meeting of members shortly after the tax rise came into effect on 1st February.

Air Passenger Duty is a flat rate tax paid on air passenger tickets. For economy seats on domestic and European flights, APD doubled from £5 to £10.

"APD is completely unconnected to the pollution produced by an aircraft," Lorely Burt MP said. "But the Government sold this tax rise as a measure to tackle global warming and climate change.

"The reality is that it is nothing of the sort. It is a typical Labour tax rise camouflaged as a green measure. It will do nothing to reduce the pollution from aircraft. It will do a great deal to boost Government coffers.

"Gordon Brown will rake in another £1 billion a year from this tax rise and he has not used it to cut taxes elsewhere.

"Green Gordon is nothing other than a figment of the imagination of Labour spin doctors. The reality is that he is Tax-Grab Gordon. He is a green sham"

Mrs Burt then went on to explain how Liberal Democrats want to change the tax system to cut pollution and cut taxes on income.

"We will bring in real green taxes based on the amount of pollution certain activities cause. For example, we will scrap Air Passenger Duty and replace it with a charge on the plane based on the pollution the plane causes.

"The more fuel efficient a plane is, the less pollution it causes and the less tax charged on it. It will be a direct incentive to airlines to buy cleaner, greener planes.

"But any extra taxes raised from green taxes must be used to cut income tax. We believe people pay enough taxes already and we will not increase the overall burden. Indeed, if you have a cleaner, greener lifestyle, the amount of tax you will pay under the Liberal Democrats would go down."