Branson would back 'clever' dirty fuels tax
The billionaire owner of Virgin Atlantic has called for a carbon tax to be introduced to "speed up the clean fuel revolution".
Tycoon 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 said.
"I think 100pc 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," said the billionaire.
Mr Branson 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, 5.5km race and a series of fitness sessions.
Mr Branson's Virgin Group owns 51pc of Virgin Atlantic, with the remainder owned by Delta.
In March, Virgin Atlantic warned that it expects to make a loss this year after three years of making profits.
It said that intense competition, higher fuel costs and weak sterling would hit its bottom line.
Chief executive Craig Kreeger said Britain's decision to leave the European Union had cost the airline about £50m (€59.4m) last year.
Delta bought its stake in Virgin Atlantic in 2013 for $360m (€330m) from Singapore Airlines. (PA)