Dutch Sec of State for Finance says an EU airline tax needed to limit low-cost flights
The Dutch Secretary of State for Finance, Menno Snel, has said the EU needs an airline tax to disincentivise consumers from using low-budget airlines for frequent travel. Mr Snel is to make his pitch for an EU-wide tax at a meeting of European finance ministers, as a way to curb aviation CO2 emissions. He said: “We need to come up with some ideas. It’s not sustainable that we fly for a weekend with some friends all around Europe, when we could do it with the train.” Using the example of a €19 return ticket from Amsterdam to Berlin, he said: “[People] understand it’s not a fair price right now.” Mr Snel said the tax could complement emissions reduction programs like the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the UN’s CORSIA. He said just having a carbon price does not mean there cannot ALSO be taxes on flights. Aviation is an under-taxed sector, paying no fuel duty and no VAT. He understands that CORSIA itself is not sufficient to even dent aviation carbon emissions, and more taxes on flights are needed – on a global scale. Mr Snell will suggest an EU-wide minimum ticket tax, above which individual countries could charge more. EU tax initiatives require unanimity to be adopted.
Dutch minister: EU airline tax needed to limit low-cost travel
By Bjarke Smith-Meyer and Saim Saeed (Politico Pro)
11th February 2019
The EU needs an airline tax to disincentivize consumers from using low-budget airlines for frequent travel, Dutch Secretary of State for Finance Menno Snel told POLITICO.
Snel will on Tuesday make his pitch for an EU-wide tax at a meeting of European finance ministers, as a way to curb carbon emissions.
“We need to come up with some ideas,” Snel said in an interview this evening. “It’s not sustainable that we fly for a weekend with some friends all around Europe when we could do it with the train.”
Using the example of a €19 return ticket from Amsterdam to Berlin, he said: “[People] understand it’s not a fair price right now.”
Snel said the tax could complement emissions reduction programs like the EU’s Emissions Trading System and U.N.-sponsored offsetting scheme Corsia. “I think one is not the enemy of the other … The ETS can set the [carbon] price, that doesn’t mean you can’t have taxes on it,” he said.
Asked if he thought Corsia alone was insufficient, Snel said: “Yeah.”
Snel argued the aviation industry isn’t taxed highly relative to other industries. “There are no excises, no [value-added tax], we’ve talked about kerosene tax, but … you need to do it on the world’s scale,” he said.
The Netherlands wants to lay the foundation for a proposal that the next European Commission can put forward. Snel said he was open to all ideas but said he will suggest an EU-wide minimum ticket tax, above which individual countries could charge more.
EU tax initiatives require unanimity to be adopted.
Experts say legal obstacles no barrier to introducing aviation fuel tax for flights in Europe
EU countries can end the decades-long exemption on taxing aviation fuel. Legal experts say it is possible to tax kerosene on flights between EU countries. This could either be done at EU level through a series of bilateral agreements or by agreement between individual countries. Transport & Environment (T&E) has found that the old argument that foreign carriers’ operating within the EU – de facto a small number of flights – can’t be taxed can be overcome by introducing a de minimis threshold below which fuel burn would not be taxed. At present (and for decades past) airlines, unlike almost all other forms of transport, pay no fuel tax on flights within or from the EU – even though aviation causes 5% of global warming. They also pay no VAT. Despite the aviation industry’s attempts to hide behind the 1944 Chicago Convention, when the agreement was made on not taxing aviation fuel, that is not what is preventing fuel taxation. In fact it is old bilateral ‘air service agreements’ that European governments signed up to years ago that include mutual fuel tax exemptions for non-EU airlines. It remains too hard to tax fuel for international, non-EU, flights.
CORSIA and its failings explained – great piece from Carbon Brief
In a long, detailed and very informative article from Carbon Brief, Jocelyn Timperley explains the CORSIA scheme for aircraft carbon emissions, and its failings. While airlines are starting this year to measure and record their carbon emissions for the first time, it is not expected that the scheme will do anything much to limit aviation carbon. “It can be expected to “modestly reduce” the net climate impact of international aviation up to 2035, according to the (ICCT). This is only if high-quality offsets are used and those offsets are not “double counted”, the think-tank adds…. Unless it is extended beyond 2035, Corsia will cover only 6% of projected CO2 emissions from all international aviation between 2015 and 2050, ICCT data indicates.” That assumes China will partake from the pilot phase. “Base emissions continue to grow under Corsia due to uncovered traffic….. The ICCT argues this means Corsia “does not obviate the need for an ICAO long-term climate goal”. Because of a range of issues, like biofuels, offsets, forestry etc : “It’s not just that Corsia is a weak measure – it’s that it’s an actively bad measure, that risks doing more harm than good.”
Dutch Gov.: New 7-euro tax for all plane tickets
11 December 2018 ,
By Mina Solanki (Iamexpat)
Regardless of your destination, soon you will end up spending more per ticket due to the new flight tax that the Dutch government plans on implementing. The Netherlands used to tax flights, however, this tax was abolished a year after it was implemented in 2008, as it did not result in a great deal of profit, money or environmental wise.
No more flying tax-free
Currently, if you take a flight from the Netherlands you don’t pay tax on it; something which Finance State Secretary Menno Snel finds odd, as train, bus and car travel are taxed. The government is now planning on introducing a tax of 7 euros per flight ticket, regardless of the destination, and taxes for noisy and polluting aircrafts.
Previously, different tax rates for European and intercontinental flights were considered; however, such a proposal was dismissed for being too complex. Taxes in the said proposal were 3,8 euros for European flights and 22 euros for intercontinental flights.
The new plane ticket tax proposal has been sent to the Council of State and, if all goes to plan, it will be implemented in 2021. Should a European-wide flight tax be actualised, the current Dutch flight tax plan will lapse.
What is the purpose of the plane ticket tax?
The Dutch government wants to implement the proposed tax to help reduce the damage to the environment and climate caused by the aviation industry. However, research commissioned by the government shows that the tax will be little to no help for this goal and will not have a large impact on consumer choices.
Natuur & Milieu, a Dutch environmental organisation, is not entirely satisfied with the outcome. Director of Natuur & Milieu, Marjolein Demmers, states: “We are happy with the implementation of a flight tax, however, such a small amount will, of course, have little effect on climate, noise pollution or public health”.
According to Demmers, if you were to tax flight tickets fairly, they would be 35 percent more expensive than they are now. The Dutch Airline Pilots Association (VNV) also has its qualms with the new tax measure, calling it an “ineffective measure”. In the near future, tickets will become more expensive anyway, in part due to the scarce capacity at Schiphol.