Sometimes you find yourself in the scariest of places. Last night I had dinner with some academics and economists who disagreed on everything but a need for radical and outrageous concepts to ‘advance the social good.’
One that might strike fear deeply into the hearts of some of my good friends in the travel and transport media was the notion of a lounge tax.
The proposition was that too much time was lost in the self indulgent misuse of airport lounges for (gasp!) pleasure or posturing, and that national productivity would soar if civil servants and corporate employees where barred from loyalty lounges under the booking terms of corporate or public agency travel accounts.
That almost froze the bouillabaise. Which then risked being converted to a cloud of protein rich steam when the same person suggested the incoming government could also balance the budget by imposing a lounge tax of a few percent of the fare paid for extra tens of minutes in excess of half an hour that a passenger spent inside a lounge.
This reminded me of the logic behind the infamous but hilarious suggestion that a former prominent figure in Victoria’s state politics once made for a self reporting sexual activity tax, with the returns to the ATO being individually published every six months in The Age.
It was quite a party. My thanks to the gracious, but scary hosts.