Yup, it’s another consultation. London City Airport has published its Noise Action Plan and the consultation with local communities, councils [not sure if that includes us] and other stakeholders will commence on Monday and last until 15th January 2010. Do let them know what you think.
Last week I was waiting at the bus stop in Clayhall Avenue when a medium sized jet propelled aircraft of the type used at London City banked overhead and disappeared off towards the north. It was very noisy. So, I was thinking about that during my bus journey. Part of the reason for the increased noise pollution is that the flight paths have been lowered by NATS. Why?
Well, it’s obviously fuel consumption. The steeper the climb and the higher you need to get the more fuel you need. And the Airlines are feeling the pinch right now, bless them. Customers are dwindling and fuel prices are rising, as we’ve seen at the petrol pump. Except that, well, not to put too fine a point on it, we are paying something like 90% tax on our petrol while the Airlines don’t pay any tax at all. Zero, zilch, nought, nothing, not a penny. And it’s not just us who pay that tax, it’s buses, coaches, taxis, trains and haulage. And where are those costs transferred to, yes you the consumer and good old taxpayer.
The Airlines, and their customers, are being subsidised by you the taxpayer just the same as those “feckless people who don’t want to work and sponge off the state”. And they are not alone, the Bankers have had their debts and misdemeanours underwritten by you the taxpayer so they can continue to live in a manner to which they have become accustom.
And all this is in the name of, wait for it, a FREE market. What? Free? Loaded more like in more ways than one! A fraction of this level of subsidy could, for example, upgrade the insulation of our housing stock with the knock on benefit of a massive boost to employment and economic activity; and by golly we need it right now. But of course the green lobby is ignored, it does not have access to the levers to pull or buttons to press. The National Wealth Service has been around for a lot longer than the National Health Service, but by and large it goes unseen and it’s excesses and inefficiencies unchallenged and unrecognised.
Does Government represent the people or does it represent the people who matter to them?
Now, before anyone jumps on me to say that saving fuel is a good green thing, yes I agree. It’s not easy being green! It’s just that if we are going to be ruled by the marketplace we need a level playing field for all modes of transport. It’s competition, and fair competition at that, that drives efficiency and excellence.
Yes, all you Iain Dale readers, it’s time we stopped people mumping off the state but don’t be surprised if it’s you who finds your wallet palpitating.