The Parliament’s Finance Committee’s transport division is perhaps surprisingly supportive of the idea of adopting an aviation tax similar to the one that is scheduled for introduction in Sweden on 1 April, 2018, reports Tekniikka & Talous.
The Swedish aviation tax will effectively raise fares for continental flights by six euros and those for longer, intercontinental flights by 25 or 40 euros.
The objective of the controversial tax is to make airlines operating in the country accountable for their greenhouse gas emissions. Bjørn Kjos, the founder and chief executive of Norwegian Air, told the Nordic Business Insider last year that introducing the aviation tax would be counter-intuitive.
“We need to reduce [the] airline industry’s climate effects […] but global problems need global solutions,” he stated.
Tekniikka & Talous on Friday revealed that it asked the regular and complementary members of the transport division, first, whether they believe a similar tax should be introduced in Finland and, second, what they believe would be a suitable tax to levy on a flight costing 500 euros. Nine of the 11 members contacted responded to the survey.
The idea of an aviation tax was welcomed especially by Emma Kari (Greens) and Antti Rantakangas (Centre), the former viewing that the tax would be justified on grounds of environmental concerns and the latter on grounds of climate policy and the need to generate additional tax revenues.
“Air traffic produces a notable amount of greenhouse gas emissions. It is justified to target taxes specifically at activities that are harmful to the environment,” argued Kari.
The proposal also received some support from Harry Wallin (SDP), Kari Uotila (Left Alliance) and Matti Torvinen (BR). “Pigouvian taxes are part of the modern-day world, but we should first see how things pan out in Sweden,” viewed Torvinen.
A few members of the division, on the other hand, stated their staunch opposition to the idea.
“I don’t think a tax like this is necessary,” said Timo Heinonen (NCP). “It’d hit low-income earners and families with children the hardest and would make it even more difficult for them to travel.”
Markku Rossi (Centre), in turn, voiced his doubt about the effectiveness of the proposed tax. “There seems to be a tendency to try to solve all problems with new taxes and tax increases. I don’t think that’s the right way to go. Air traffic won’t decrease because of a new tax,” commented Rossi.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi