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Sir Richard Branson urges introduction of carbon tax

Sir Richard said he would support a tax on dirty fuels despite it not being “great” for his business interests.

The billionaire owner of Virgin Atlantic has called for a carbon tax to be introduced to “speed up the clean fuel revolution”.

Tycoon Sir Richard Branson, who founded the British airline more than 30 years ago, said he would support a tax on dirty fuels despite it not being “great” for his business interests.

“I think there should be a carbon tax which is not going to be great for me owning an airline or a train company but I think there should be a carbon tax,” he told the Press Association.

He said: “I think 100% of that should be then given back to people in their wage packets at the end of every month… so that means that you’re going to create a differential between dirty fuels and clean fuels and that will just help speed up the clean fuel revolution.

“Using tax in a clever way like that, in my opinion a clever way, can help sort out the problems of the world.”

Sir Richard made the comments at the 2017 Virgin Sport Hackney Festival of Fitness in east London, where thousands of runners took part in a half marathon, 5.5k race and a series of fitness sessions.

The 66-year-old said he thought organised events such as the first Virgin Sport festival were “contributing” to improving the health of the nation.

He praised the likes of Jamie Oliver for his work on helping people improve their health, and said: “The best way of helping people – apart from getting healthy – is tax of things that are not good for us – cigarettes, sugar, sweet drinks – and don’t tax the things that are healthy for us and that just seems very logical to me.”

Sir Richard said it was only because of keeping active that he had been able to “keep going for 50 years” in business, and added: “If we can find the time to look after ourselves and challenge ourselves and have fun at the same time you can extend your life and fun for that much longer.”

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