The EU should tax airline fuel

Air France Boeing 777 (picture Philippe Noret)

By Richard Laming

Published in EUobserver, 16 February 2005

The debate about taxing airline fuel has sprung back into life, thanks to the German government. The money could be used for development assistance, they say. Actually, it could be used to do much more than that.

At present, fuel used for international air passenger flights goes untaxed, unlike the fuel usedin cars and road haulage. Air travel is the most environmentally damaging form of transport but pays the lowest tax rate on its fuel. This is crazy.

Furthermore, a tax on airline fuel would also be socially progressive, falling most on those who can afford to pay most, the richer people who fly frequently. The sums involved are substantial: billions of euros a year.

This argument has gone round for a while, but governments have said they have been held back by the law. This has always puzzled me.

Read the whole article at 050216airlinefuel

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