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Treasury hits back at Ryanair air tax 'skyway robbery' claims

10.02.07

The Treasury has hit back at claims by low-cost airline Ryanair that the government will not spend the funds its makes from the recent doubling the air passenger duty (APD) on the environment. However a statement issued today by Ryanair branded as 'rubbish' claims by UK Chancellor Gordon Brown that the £1bn in additional tax will bring in to the Treasury annually would be used to help the environment.

The Treasury hit back at Ryanair's 'skyway robery' claims by saying that the increase in APD will save the equivalent of three quarters of a million tonnes of carbon every year by 2011. The Treasury also insists that the cash generated by the rise in APD will be used wisely and will not 'disappear into his [Gordon Brown's] pockets' as Ryanair has claimed.

A Treasury spokesperson said in a statement: 'The Chancellor has said that the revenues raised from the increase will secure extra resources in the coming spending round for priorities such as public transport and the environment.'

Ryanair's head of communications, Peter Sherrard, hit back saying: 'Gordon Brown is guilty of using the environment to steal more taxes from ordinary people and in just one week he has already grabbed £20m. Over the coming year he will use this tax hike as an excuse to steal £1bn of passengers money.'

The airline says that Mr Brown should tackle the main sources of pollution in the UK - power generation and road transport - which it claims account for 26 percent and 18 percent of CO2 emissions.

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