IIn German aviation, worries are growing that the climate debate will lead to significantly higher tax burdens. Before the meeting of the leaders of the Union and SPD, who want to vote on Friday evening their climate policy positions, there were plans in Berlin to raise the aviation tax, especially for short air routes. Disagreement exists only on the concrete design. Union and SPD want to prepare their climate protection program on this Friday evening, a week later it should be decided.
One proposal, according to F.A.Z. information, is to double the bottom of the three distance-based tax rates. For domestic flights, connections to EU and EFTA countries as well as other countries such as Russia and Turkey are currently 7.38 euros per ticket due. For longer distances, such as the Middle East and northern Africa, the rate is currently € 23.05, for the other intercontinental flights € 41.49. The news agency Reuters meanwhile quoted from a party submission for the CDU board meeting on Monday. It says: "We want to double this ticket tax for all domestic flights and triple for short-haul flights inland under 400 kilometers."
The local industry had given up its fight against the tax only in the summer under the impression of the climate debate. Since its introduction in 2011, it has criticized the tax as a competitive disadvantage for German companies vis-à-vis airlines whose home countries do not have such a tax. The tax had recently brought the Treasury 1.2 billion euros a year. From the industry now comes the warning that a higher burden makes it difficult to invest money in emissions-reducing technology. "Profitability must not be played off against climate protection. Decisive is the long-term success and for that we have to move away from a short-sighted black-and-white thinking, "said the Managing Director of the ADV airport association Ralph Beisel of F.A.Z.
International solution required
It is true that hardly anyone in the aviation industry expects to come from the climate debate without additional burdens. Beisel reaffirmed demand for a transnational solution. "We have to think outside the box in order to achieve more than is possible in Germany alone. The goal must be to contribute to the worldwide reduction of CO2 emissions by developing and exporting new technologies. "At the first national aviation conference, the industry and politics had advocated the promotion of alternative fuels.
The industry hopes that the tax that has gone into the general budget so far will be converted into a specific tax. "Increasing the air traffic tax without using the money for climate projects in aviation brings nothing for climate protection. Using the 1.2 billion euro aviation tax on synthetic kerosene already collected today would be the right and most effective climate change measure. "
A blanket increase in the lowest tax rate would hit the industry hard, as it was, according to the Federal Statistical Office for almost 83 percent of all tickets sold. A tripling of the rate for flights under 400 kilometers, however, is considered in industry circles as a symbolic policy. Such short distances make up only 3 percent of domestic traffic. The majority of passengers on very short routes use the flights as a feeder for a long-haul flight, in which case usually only the tax rate for the long total distance comes into play.
(tTTranslate) Ralph Beisel (t) SPD (t) F.A.Z. (t) European Union (t) Reuters (t) CDU (t) Air Traffic Tax