Aussie support for proposed "fat tax"

By admin


Almost one in three Australians believe that airline passengers should be charged according to their body weight, a new survey by Travelzoo Australia has revealed.
The survey of almost 2500 travellers found that 31.7% thought such a move was "appropriate".
The findings add fuel to the fire sparked by an online comment piece written by former Qantas chief economist Tony Webber published by the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday.
"I think it's discriminatory that people who watch their weight actually have to pay a higher airfare because of people who are overweight," Webber wrote.
Webber referred to the rising weight of the average Australian and stressed the financial impact this extra load had on the profitability of air services.
An extra two kilograms per passenger on a three times daily Sydney-London service could equate to an additional cost of $1 million per year, he claimed, which could be offset by a "weight surcharge".
However, airlines dismissed the prospect of a "fat tax" being applied.
"The first airline to do something like this would come in for heavy criticism," Travelzoo general manager Brad Gurrie said.
In addition to the legal implications of such a move which could be seen as discriminatory, measuring body weight alone would make little sense, according to Gurrie.
"If something like this ever went ahead, you'd have to take both body weight and baggage weight into account," he said.

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