Scrap state support for flying, says Keith Taylor, MEP

Keith Taylor, the Green Party MEP for the South East of England, has called for an end to the ‘unfair and unhealthy’ subsidies given to the aviation industry.  In a response to the European Commission’s “Consultation on the draft Guidelines on State aid to airports and airlines” Mr Taylor has said that he would like to see a move away from public money being spent on subsidising flying. It is estimated that the aviation industry in Europe would continue to receive around €3 billion a year in direct subsidies under new European Commission proposals. States would continue to disproportionately subsidise smaller airports, which are almost exclusively used by low-fares airlines.  The direct subsidies are complemented by even larger tax exemptions, recently estimated by CE Delft at €30-42 billion every year. Mr Taylor believes EU state aid  for the aviation industry should only be in the case of very isolated regions, where support can be provided under a Public Service Obligation.

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Scrap state support for flying, says MEP

24.9.2013 (Keith Taylor’s website)

Keith Taylor, the Green Party MEP for the South East of England, has called for an end to the ‘unfair and unhealthy’ subsidies given to the aviation industry.

In a response to the European Commission’s “Consultation on the draft Guidelines on State aid to airports and airlines” Mr Taylor has said that he would like to see a move away from public money being spent on subsidising flying.

According to the campaign group Transport & Environment Europe’s aviation industry would continue to receive around €3 billion a year in direct subsidies under new European Commission proposals. States would continue to disproportionately subsidise smaller airports, which are almost exclusively used by low-fares airlines.

The direct subsidies are complemented by even larger tax exemptions, recently estimated by CE Delft [Marisa Korteland and Jasper Faber, Estimated revenues of VAT and fuel tax on aviation, CE Delft, July 2013] at €30-42 billion every year.

Mr Taylor said:

“I believe that the EU should move as quickly as possible towards ending all state support for the aviation industry, except in the case of very isolated regions, where support can be provided under a Public Service Obligation.”

Mr Taylor, whose constituency includes Gatwick Airport and areas in close proximity to Heathrow, went on to criticize state-aid for aviation for its role in promoting a polluting and harmful industry.

He said:

“Propping up the aviation industry through state subsidies is completely unjustified and makes a mockery of the efforts of the EU, Member States and EU citizens to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Just this week, Lord Stern, the former World Bank chief economist and author of the landmark 2006 report on the costs of climate change, said that the European Union should set a goal to halve emissions from 1990 to 2030, rather than to reduce them by 40% as has been proposed.

 Not only is aviation the most climate-damaging form of transport, the noise, air pollution and traffic associated with flying have negative health and social impacts on millions of people across Europe.”

Ends

You can read Mr Taylor’s full consultation response here:

http://www.keithtaylormep.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Consultation-response_EU-guidelines-on-state-aid-for-airports-and-airlines_25_09_2013.pdf

http://www.keithtaylormep.org.uk/2013/09/25/scrap-state-support-for-flying-says-mep/

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Background to State air for airports and airlines:

On 3 July 2013 the European Commission published revised draft guidelines on State aid to airports and airlines. The guidelines need to be urgently reconsidered as they risk further distorting competition, wasting scare public resources and expanding billions of euros in climate harmful subsidies.
Transport & Environment (T&E) have produced a short (and easy to read) briefing on state aid for airports and airlines.  It is at State Aid for Airports and Airlines
T&E have written to Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, (who is currently responsible for competition under the second mandate of President Barroso) outlining T&E’s concerns in relation to the draft guidelines. It is at Letter to Commissioner Almunia.
T&E hosted an event, in Brussels, called ‘Citizens, Aviation and Competition: State Aid for Airports and Airlines’ on Monday 16 September.
The current consultation on state aid to airports and airlines closes on 25th September, but T&E and others are asking for it to be extended.  The email address for submissions is: stateaidgreffe@ec.europa.eu, with the reference ”HT.2635″.
State aid to various sectors comes under DG Competition in the European Commission. http://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/overview/index_en.html

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Earlier

Consultation on rules for European Commission state aid to airports and airlines

Date added: September 18, 2013

Under the European Commission, state aid is granted to various sectors of the economy. However, a key issue is the impact it has on distorting the market, and giving an unfair advantage to those companies or organisations receiving it. Airports and airlines are one sector that receives large amounts of state aid through the EC. The Commission’s DG Competition is tasked with overseeing state aid. There have been earlier sets of guidelines on state aid to airports and airlines, but there is a current consultation – due to end on 25th September (which may be extended). The exact amount of state aid given to the aviation sector is somewhat shady, but is at least €3 billion, for those subsidies that are fully notified.There have been widely publicised cases, such as that of Ryanair at Charleroi airport. Transport & Environment have produced an easy-to-read briefing on the state aid situation, and people are urged to respond to the consultation. The state aid gives the aviation industry unmerited subsidy, and helps to encourage very high carbon travel.

Click here to view full story.

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Some details of how much European governments bail out failing national airlines

9.9.2013There is currently a consultation under way, on EU guidance on state aid to airports and airlines. This consultation ends on 25th September, unless it is extended. A paper by Rose Bridger, in July, sets out details of the extent of state aid to failing airlines across Europe. There are truly remarkable sums involved.  The EU regards bail outs for failing airlines as restructuring aid, rather than merely aid for infrastructure or new route development. Some of the cases that Rose has located information on are for national flag carrier airlines. For example, the Hungarian national airline, Malev, received well over €300 million; Scandinavian airline SAS received a €400 million credit facility from three governments; Latvian airline Air Baltic got at least €100 million in share capital; Air Malta got well over €180 million over several years; Polish LOT airlines has had at least €100 million, and likewise for Estonia Air and Czech airlines. Support for airlines brings a disproportionate benefit to wealthier citizens, who fly more. Continued bailouts to airlines exacerbates the financial instability caused by excessive debt.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=17437

 

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