Poor people dont need to fly

by William Yeatman on April 27, 2004

in Politics

In a peculiar echo of the Duke of Wellingtons famous remark that the railways were a bad idea because they let the poor move around the country, Guardian columnist Jackie Ashley suggested on April 15 that something had to be done about poor and middle class Britons flying too much. 


She wrote, And yes, it would meancharging the real environmental cost of cheap air travel, either levied on airports or aviation fuel, or both.  We should recognise that this reduces human happiness for the millions who benefit from it.  As with the congestion charge, we should accept that this would hit some poorer people’s mobility, stealing a recent freedom away from them.  But we should remember that the boom in air travel is mainly fuelled by middle-class people flying more frequently.


The UKs Friends of the Earth has taken up the challenge, pointing out that the poor flying abroad for holidays is not necessary.  Richard Dyer told the BBC (Apr. 27), The vast majority of flights are discretionary, for leisure.   These are not essential.

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