T&E welcomes EU plans to raise minimum diesel taxes

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.

[mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]Jos Dings, director  of Transport & Environment said: “In times of austerity raising fuel taxes instead of income taxes will protect jobs, cut emissions
and reduce Europe’s  EUR300 billion-a-year oil import bill.  It’s far better to tax pollution and oil imports than it is to tax people’s income.  Correcting
minimum rates for inflation is the most obvious place to start, as our research shows that individual member states are too scared to raise fuel taxes
if their neighbours aren’t doing the same, it’s been a race to the bottom for the last ten years.”

“Raising minimum rates is good for high fuel tax countries like the UK and Germany because they will lose far less revenue to fuel tax havens like Luxembourg
that profiteer from the current system by attracting truckers to fill up in huge numbers.”

However, T&E is highly critical of the decision not to end the ban on taxation of aviation and shipping fuels.

“If the EU really wants to cut transport emissions by 60% by 2050, it is going to have to wake up to the fact that it can no longer let ships and planes
operate in a tax-free parallel universe.  If the EU cannot even end the ban on taxing these fuels, you have to wonder whether these headline targets are
just empty promises” said Dings.

As the car industry has, in recent days, been spreading scare stories about the EU forcing member states to raise diesel taxes, notably in Germany and the UK, Dings commented: 

“Most member states, including Germany and the UK already tax diesel above the minimum rates.  In those cases, it will be up to them to decide if they want to raise diesel taxes, the EU is not going to force them.  But even if they do, our research shows that it won’t harm the market for diesel cars.  The UK taxes diesel at the same level as petrol and 50% of new cars sold there are still diesels.  Saying this is going to kill the diesel market is just more car industry scaremongering. “ 

- The T&E report, including a two-page summary can be downloaded from the T&E website at .

Contact the press team

Nico Muzi
Communications Director
+32 (0)484 27 87 91 
nico.muzi@transportenvironment.org

Sign up