'Aviation tax gap' costs Belgium 700m euros in revenue
Belgium is missing out on 700 million euros in revenue by not taxing aviation "fairly", according to clean transport campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E).
T&E analysed how much revenue European governments could have raised from aviation if the sector did not benefit from tax exemptions. "Belgium, for example, does not tax kerosene, has very low aviation taxes and VAT, and only applies a carbon tax to flights within Europe," said a spokesperson for T&E member NGO Bond Beter Leefmilieu (BBL).
Belgium's aviation tax gap between actual revenue and what taxation without exemptions would yield is "350 times the amount the government is allocating to support night trains", BBL said.
Across Europe, governments are losing out on 34.2 billion euros in taxes, according to T&E. This amount "could pay for 1,400 km of high-speed rail infrastructure - equivalent to the distance from Hamburg to Rome", said T&E. Based on traffic estimates, this tax gap could grow to 47.1 billion euros by 2025.
T&E and BBL advocate higher taxes on the aviation sector. This would increase ticket prices and reduce demand for air travel, resulting in less health damage, less noise pollution and lower CO2 emissions.
Brussels Airport © BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND