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I thought the idea behind green taxes was supposed to be that the planet is in dire immediate trouble and thus if we don't take action *now*, the planet is fooked.

Of course many of us took the view that 'green taxes' are just another revenue exercise, and so I guess this delay finally confirms that our cynical view of green taxes was correct.

"I also hope Labour push through the necessary third runway for Heathrow".

Quite aside from aviation operational aspects, has anyone considered the need for radically improved surface access to Heathrow for the workforce as well as for passengers? It is already horrendous at times, other than by rail from central London and can only get even worse unless such development is accompanied by significant enhancement of road and rail access from other directions. It would be nice to think that such planning would incorporate provision for future direct highspeed rail links with the airport.
Integrated 'And' theory, not just 'Either/Or'.

Completely agree on Heathrow Tim. It's not ideal, but if we don't expand then the consequences will be dire. It's well known that our continental rivals are laughing at the shenanigans over R3, and the truth is that not building it won't reduce emissions one single jot.

More planes will stack unnecessarily over London, pumping out more emissions. And people flying to and from Europe will simply route via the continent where it's cheaper and more convenient.

What about the subsidised wind farms, beloved by the Tory choice for Richmond Park constituency and supporter of lawbreakers Greenpeace - Zac Goldsmith?

Does Mr. Cameron still believe in these? Not many of us do.

We haven`t forgotten the piddling windmill on the roof of his house, the jet to the frozen north or riding his bike to the office followed by a car containing his papers.

What am I doing? I`ve installed a wood burning stove.

I hope you're wrong about this Tim. You've forgotten that these were meant to be REPLACEMENT taxes rather than just tax rises for their own sake.
I'm delighted about Heathrow and most particularly Stansted. The skies over southern England are very crowded already certainly the most crowded in Europe.
Business often cries wolf over potential losses, I remember the CBI forecasting armageddon over our failure to join the Euro and look what happened after that!
At Stansted the expansion plans are not supported by local people,they're not even supported by the airlines who use Stansted so who in the end will gain? Only BAA stand to gain and I'm not interested in helping thewm at all.

But surely Heathrow is moving to Sheppey with 4 runways (forget about 3!) and 24 hour operation and minimal noise blight.

How marvellous it would be if that joined up with an arterial railway down the spine of Britain.

Lindsay, I wish that it were so, but there's almost no chance of Sheppey international coming about alas. Funding's the first of many problems, but I'd love to be proved wrong...

Lindsay Jenkins

Great idea in principle but where are the airport workers going to be housed for ready access to that location at any time day & night (because of shiftworking)? Over 70,000 work at Heathrow. Add on families and therefore need to add, say, a 1/4 million population in areas accessible to the site. That's about the present population of the Medway Towns conurbation.

Rejoice!! Green taxes are to be honest nothing more than a smokescreen for higher taxation.

We need to be rid once and for all of this nudge-nonsense. In my world, 'green' means naiive and uneducated.

I truly despair of the way Cameron et al come out with policies on things like 'no third runway at Heathrow'. Such stuff is truly not a matter for government policy; it's down to the market. If private companies like BAA [or their successors] think a third runway at Heathrow makes business sense, let them propose it. And build it.

It's their money after all.

"it's down to the market. If private companies like BAA [or their successors] think a third runway at Heathrow makes business sense, let them propose it. And build it.
It's their money after all."

I have to disagree with you on that aspect. It would only be "down to the market", if BAA were going to persuade all of Harmondsworth's residents to sell up at open market rates to make way for the airport extension, and also to fund all the additional public roads needed outside the airport boundary. The moment that questions of compulsory purchase arise, then it is a matter for government participation.

I think the Tories are absolutely correct to refuse a 3rd London runway, Heathrow is far too West London centric and too close to the population.

Reduce the size of Heathrow and build Boris' airport in Kent

Richard Calhoun@20:36 - Reduce the size of Heathrow and build Boris' airport in Kent"

I'd say let BAA/Ferrovial build runway #3 at Heathrow *and* let them build Boris' airport in Kent. Anything else is pure unalloyed NIMBYism and will seriously hamper UK.plc's ability to participate in global trade post-2020.

Kent is extreme south-east corner and has a grossly insufficient hinterland to accommodate the large number of people required to run a mega airport. It's no good just looking at neat & tidy flightpaths and high speed rail access routes if you can't staff the place adequately.

Heathrow has much better landward access from north, south and west, as well as east, though needing great improvement in this respect.

The opportunity for a new London Airport was lost decades back. My brother moved out to the Essex coast, gambling on employment prospects of Foulness construction. He's 71 now :-(

It's not so long ago since this blog featured a comment by Richard North - there will be £8Bn revenue from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme by 2012.

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/torydiary/2008/09/tories-set-to-s.html (2 comments)

That's before New Labour even think of including aviation and shipping in the scheme.

Unless I've missed some conference announcement on suspending the ETS, it looks like 'green taxes' are still very much alive.

Oh, the fragility of Cameron's convictions!

I agree with Malcolm. (Did I say that?)

I thought that the new green taxes were supposed to be revenue-neutral, with the advantage over income tax that if you change your behaviour, you pay less tax and often benefit in other ways.

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