A week ago I wrote THIS story about a cock up by Gordon Brown and the Treasury about their failure to legislate for the new rise in Airport taxes. In theory this means that airlines have no duty to levy the tax and passengers do not have to pay it until Parliament approves the necessary legislation. During a quiet news period I had hoped that this would be picked up by the national press, but in fact only the Daily Telegraph reported it the next day.
I now understand that the airlines were expecting the whole media to be up in arms about it too and that they would get huge numbers of complaints from the public, but so far there has been a whimper. I'm told they are looking for an excuse not to levy the charge and would positively welcome lots of complaints to give them the pretext. So unless there's a media backlash in the next few days it will be too late, as I am sure the Treasury are already drafting the legislation which they will push through as soon as the Commons returns in the New Year. Interestingly, there are also rumours that it may be possible for any passenger who has already been charged with this levy to reclaim it. If this is so the government's only way of closing this loophole would be to intriduce retrospective legislation, something which always causes a huge parliamentary rumpus.