Belgium wants EU to tax airline flight tickets

Belgium wants its EU partners to introduce a European tax on commercial aviation, Le Soir reports today. It could be on aircraft fuel, currently tax free, or a VAT on airline tickets.

This will be discussed at the Council of Environmental Ministers next Tuesday at the request of the new Flemish Environment Minister, Koen Van den Heuvel (CD&V, Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams, or Christian democratic party). Walloon Minister Jean-Luc Crucke (MR, Reformed Movement) will defend the Belgian proposal.

In a note to its EU partners, the Belgian delegation recommends “fair and correct air transport pricing with regard to its impact on environment.” Currently there isn’t any tax on kerosene or VAT on airline tickets. More environmentally friendly modes of transport such as the train are more taxed than air transport.”

The discussions will allow “the next European Commission to make adequate proposals,” Crucke hopes.

Belgium joins the process initiated by France and the Netherlands. At the last Council of European Finance Ministers (12 February), Alexander De Croo (VLD, Open Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten, of liberal inspiration) had already supported a similar proposal by the Dutch.

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