The Dutch government is abandoning the aviation ticket tax it introduced last July.
The current fashion among Europe’s politicians seems to be providing financial incentives to scrap old cars and replace them with new ones. It is being dressed up as an environmental measure, despite evidence that it can do more harm than good, and in Germany it has led to two absurd developments.
The principle of charging heavy vehicles for the ‘external costs’ they cause has been approved by MEPs in their response to the Commission’s proposed revision of the Eurovignette directive, but confusion still surrounds details of how member states can charge for the costs of congestion.
EU economics ministers have asked the Commission to coordinate ‘vehicle scrapping schemes’ – taxpayer-funded payments to people who replace an old car with a new one. The schemes are being touted as environment-friendly, but T&E disputes this.
The city of Nottingham has asked the British transport ministry to approve a scheme to tax companies with more than 10 car parking spaces for employees.
The Commission has threatened legal action against Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal for failing to put EU legislation on road charging into their national laws.
Lorries cause vastly more environmental damage and congestion than their share of Europe’s road vehicles leads people to believe, according to a report for T&E that has been published as the EU debates a controversial revision of the Eurovignette directive.
Editorial by Jos Dings
When people rush into things, there are normally unforeseen consequences. When politicians and officials are faced with a crisis, they feel the need to rush to take some action. It is a recipe for long-term chaos, and it’s happening right now with Europe's car industry.
Belgium has reintroduced its 'cliquet tax' by which fuel tax goes up when the price of fuel goes down (but doesn’t go down when fuel prices go up). The tax was suspended last year when fuel prices rose dramatically, but was reintroduced last month when oil prices came down, and has since been raised again.
Two EU countries last month announced new air passenger taxes.