350 000 jobs ‘lost’ and chance to cut imports and emissions missedAverage fuel tax in Europe has fallen in real terms by €0.10 per litre since 1999, which has cost 350 000 jobs. These are the findings of a new study by T&E, which coincides with publication of the Commission’s proposals to revise the EU Energy Tax Directive. The proposed revision seeks to narrow the gap between Europe’s differing rates of diesel tax but leaves untouched the current ban on taxing aviation and shipping fuels.
Opinion - By Jos Dings
After more than two years of dithering, the Commission has finally published its proposals for a revised energy tax directive. The message is mixed. There is a lot of progress in this directive, mainly to do with diesel taxes, but the big criticism is inconsistency. The Commission has made good progress in one area, but has totally failed to see that this can help other areas too.
The Commission has proposed ending the right of member states to exempt lorries from paying for infrastructure costs. The suggestion, which came as part of the white paper on transport planning for 2050, could impact on negotiations on the Eurovignette, as it would effectively make the Eurovignette directive obligatory.
T&E's Bill Hemmings writes in the Financial Times on behalf of the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA), 13 April 2011:
Sir, Jeff Smisek, chief executive of the newly merged United and Continental Airlines, balks at the thought of paying his share of the estimated €1.1bn cost of the aviation sector joining the European Union’s emissions trading scheme from next year (“United warns EU on carbon rule”, April 4).
Transport & Environment has welcomed a European Commission proposal to raise minimum diesel tax rates in Europe, as new research shows the average fuel tax in Europe has declined in real terms by 10 cents a litre since 1999.
On the day the European Commission is set to propose an increase in the minimum level of road diesel taxation in Europe (1), a new study shows
that average road fuel taxes in Europe have declined by 10 cents per litre in real terms since 1999. If taxes had been inflation-corrected and the revenues
used to lower labour taxes, 350,000 jobs would have been saved, oil imports would have been cut by €11 billion, and road transport CO2 emissions would
have been 6% lower, according to the report (2).
The European Parliament's Transport committee reached an agreement on revised road charging rules for lorries (the Eurovignette directive) that
would open the door for Member States to charge for air and noise pollution in road tolls.
Letter to Commissioners Hedegaard and Oettinger on including bioenergy standards in the EU ETS.
The Commission says it is taking the first steps towards tackling the problem of tax subsidies that come through favourable treatment of company cars. Its draft transport white paper identifies company car taxation as a problem, and earlier this month it co-hosted a seminar to discuss the issue.