Apparently, says the Government, it is a "simple fact" that raising the air passenger duty to a tenner from a fiver will "produce more carbon savings in a month than the Conservative proposals [of VAT on domestic flight] will in a year". This is because it will "save 2.75 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by 2010-11".
Now, I think I was pretty clear myself at the time that I thought the idea of VAT on domestic flights was loopy, however, how on earth can such authoritative statements be made by the Government about the reduction in carbon as a result of an increase of a fiver on the cost of flying? How can one state that as a "simple fact"?
Seriously, putting aside all the climate change arguments, the implication here is that the fiver increase will stop people flying. And what's more, the Government claims that it can know how many people will stop flying as a result of it over the next three years. It's total extrapolated bollocks based on assumptions of pure conjecture.
The bizarre thing is that Ian Pearson, the Minister for Climate Change (surely that should be Minister against Climate Change?), who said the above nonsense preceded his authoritative "simple fact" by saying he accepted that APD was not the "most effective policy instrument when it comes to influencing environmental behaviour".