Encouraging fair prices for flights
Flying is one of the most environmentally unfriendly ways to travel, and greatly impacts our planet. Nevertheless, air traffic is booming—in part because flying is ‘unfairly cheap’. Airline tickets and kerosene are tax exempt, thanks to international agreements made back in 1944 to stimulate air traffic. Natuur & Milieu (Nature & Environment) and the Milieufederatie Noord-Holland (Environmental Federation Noord-Holland) feel that the concept of tax-free air traffic no longer fits our current societal values.
Their studies show that fair taxation, in line with other industries — which would include excise duty on kerosene and VAT on airline tickets — would lead to a 35% increase in tickets costs. Taxing environmental damages like contributing to climate change, the deterioration of air quality, and health issues would mean an additional increase of 28%. In other words, traveling by plane should really be 63% more expensive than it currently is.
Although the decision to introduce a €7 airline ticket tax by 2021 is a small step for the Netherlands, the call for fair pricing seems to resonate with the Dutch coalition. In June 2019, State Secretary of Finance Mr. Snel organized a high-level conference that included talks about a European excise duty on kerosene. If the proposal is passed, it will mean an important break with tradition for Dutch air traffic policy.
Adessium Foundation supports the ‘Eerlijk over Vliegen’ (‘Honest about Flying’) campaign by Natuur & Milieu and the Milieufederatie Noord-Holland, which aims to facilitate a balanced and well-informed debate about the future of air traffic in the Netherlands. The only way to make political decisions on sustainable air traffic that respects the environment and people’s general well-being is through fact-based discussion.
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