‘Belgian tax on airline tickets could bring in 142 million euro’
Imposing taxes on airline tickets will cost 4% of jobs in the Belgian aviation sector, estimates the European Commission. But this would be compensated by jobs in other sectors. According to a study of the European Commission, only seven European countries impose taxes on airline tickets. In the European Union a passenger pays an average tax of 11 euro, in the US this is 15,04 euro and in Australia 40,28 euro.
Tax on tickets
If Belgium would impose the same taxes as Germany does, the average ticket price would increase 4% (+7,47 euro). It would be good for the climate, though. CO2 emissions would decrease 4%. Moreover, the taxes would bring in 142 million euro.
The aviation sector says that more taxes would lead to job losses, and the study confirms this. These losses, however, would be compensated by other sectors.
Tax on kerosene
European countries don’t levy taxes on kerosene. They always refer to the international agreements the United Nations concluded at the end of the second world war. In the US, Canada and Japan, however, there is a tax on kerosene for domestic flights. “So, it would be perfectly possible to introduce a tax on kerosene”, says Andrew Murphy, aviation specialist of the European NGO Transport & Environment. “Especially for domestic and inter-European flights.”
Such a tax, however, would have serious consequences for the Belgian aviation sector, the study shows. A tax on kerosene of 0,33 euro/litre would decrease the number of passengers and CO2 emissions. But it would bring in 450 million euro for the Belgian government.
“The study shows that a tax on kerosene would not necessarily mean a disaster”, concludes Laurien Spruyt, transport specialist of Bond Beter Leefmilieu, an organization for the protection of the environment. “It would cause a movement to ‘greener’ sectors and stimulate innovation.”
Europe is struggling with the aviation sector. On one hand, it’s providing two million jobs, good for a turnover of 110 billion euro. Besides, airplanes are crucial for international trade. On the other hand, its fast growth is undermining European climate goals. CO2 emissions of intercontinental flights have gone up with 26,3% the last five years, while other sectors try to bring them down.
Mid-June, the European Ministers for Finance will gather to talk about aviation taxes.