UK Taxpayers are effectively subsidising airlines to the tune of £300 per person every year, new research by Friends of the Earth reveals today . The UK airline industry receives an effective subsidy of £9.2 billion a year  because airlines pay no tax on fuel used, virtually no VAT and benefit from duty free. Other taxes such as income tax therefore have to be higher to subsidise the aviation industry.
Keith Taylor, Green Party Principal Speaker, comments: "UK domestic flights and international departures from the UK are responsible for around 6 per cent of the country's total carbon dioxide emissions and throw the UK's chances of meeting our Kyoto Targets into serious jeopardy.
"The Green Party has long called for the Government to put an end to the subsidisation of the aviation industry for the benefit of both the environment and UK tax payers. We don't want to stop people going on holiday but the Government needs to start investing in cleaner, more sustainable forms of transport. 70% of EU flights are under 1000km and with trains capable of travelling at 300kph plus now is the time to expand a fast rail network. Trains are 19 times more carbon efficient than planes.
"The Green Party is committed to radical measures to force the aviation industry to take responsibility for the pollution it is creating. The Greens will be voting on a policy motion to introduce legislative controls on airline advertising at the Green Party Spring Conference, March 16th-19th in Scarborough. These legislative controls will include mandatory health warnings on the climate change effects and carbon dioxide emissions of the flights advertised. It is evident that corporations lack the drive to self-regulate and the aviation industry is currently the major barrier to effectively combating global climate change. Now is the time for the Government to act decisively, for the sake of our health, our environment and our pockets."