|The Conservatives provoked a storm of protest last night after unveiling plans to use "green" taxes on air travel to target frequent fliers and the most-polluting aircraft.|
With the environment to be a vital battleground at the next election, George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, said the plans would help cut greenhouse emissions and allow the party to fund tax cuts for families.
advertisementBut his proposals were denounced by the airline industry, which said they would make air travel the preserve of the rich and jeopardise thousands of jobs.
Tour operators voiced concern, as did Kenneth Clarke, the Tory former Chancellor, who said that the growth in air travel had been a "very important social revolution".
....Paul Charles, the communications director at Virgin Atlantic, said: "Taxing passengers more would damage the UK economy as it would make UK airlines less competitive and shift jobs to other countries in Europe."
British Airways said taxes were an ineffective way to tackle the growth in air travel. "Taxation is an extremely blunt instrument in terms of reducing carbon emissions," said a spokesman.
Budget airline Flybe said the plans were a "full-frontal attack on ordinary travellers".
The Association of British Travel Agents said the proposals would hit families and make the travel industry less competitive.
Papers were less than impressed.
|A series of puns are used to report the reaction to Conservative proposals for new green taxes on air travel.|
The Times says the plans failed to take off, while the Daily Mail says they ran into turbulence.
Meanwhile, the Sun dismisses the plans as pie in the sky and the Daily Mirror says the idea crashed on take-off.
The Daily Telegraph, which calls the proposals an act of symbolism, says the Tories are meant to be hard-headed pragmatists and should do better.