A review has been published by a Conservative policy group today that recommends higher taxes on short-haul flights.

Among the proposals in the Quality of Life report is for VAT to be imposed on short-haul flights and investment in railways to be increased to encourage people to use trains rather than air travel.

The study also suggests that airport expansions should be suspended, with no new runways at either Gatwick or Stansted.

John Gummer, chair of the Quality of Life policy group, said the issue of transport must be considered alongside matters such as energy, waste, farming and fishing if Britain is to become a sustainable society.

Vice-chair Zac Goldsmith described the report as "radical but practical, pioneering but realistic".

However there has been opposition to the proposals from airlines and Labour ministers, with chief secretary to the Treasury Andy Burnham claiming that the Tories' plans would not be financially viable if the party ever got into power.

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Tony Hill Helen Gillilan

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Tory Review Backs Flight Tax