Press Release

European Parliament vote on fuel taxes: reaction from Transport & Environment

April 19, 2012

Brussels - Fuel tax havens such as Luxembourg and Spain may have to raise their low diesel taxes following a vote in the European Parliament in Strasbourg this afternoon on a proposal to revise the EU’s Energy Tax law.  Commenting on the outcome of the vote, Magnus Nilsson, senior campaigner at T&E said: “This vote is good news for countries like Portugal, Belgium, France and Germany who currently lose billions in tax revenue as a result of lorries filling up in fuel tax havens such as Luxembourg and Spain.  Lower diesel taxes are bad for the climate and force governments to find cash elsewhere, such as by raising job-killing labour taxes.  ”


A plan to close the fuel tax loophole for international aviation and shipping fuels, proposed in an earlier vote by the Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, was rejected.  

Nilsson commented “In a time when government budgets are stretched to the limit it makes no sense that the European Parliament would uphold a ban on member states from taxing international aviation and shipping fuel.  The fuel tax ban for planes and ships is outdated, unfair and maintaining it is an unnecessary EU constraint on Member States.”

The Parliament vote is a non-binding opinion on a proposal from the European Commission.  The proposal must be agreed unanimously by finance ministers.  

“Finance ministers should back the positive elements of today’s vote and seize the opportunity to help fix Europe’s finances in a smart, and climate-friendly way”, Nilsson says.   

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