Belgium’s Finance Minister Vincent Van Peteghem is proposing a flight tax of €10 for those who fly less than 500 kilometres to the government on Friday, according to reports in local media.
The flight tax, or boarding tax, is taking shape for the first time, and would add €10 to short-haul flights, €2 to flights that go further but stay within the EEA (all 27 EU Member States, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland), and €4 for all other flights.
The tax was introduced during the drafting of the budget and should bring in €30 million euros for the state treasury, reports Het Laatste Nieuws. The original proposal in mid-October prompted a lot of uncertainty in the sector.
It initially only targeted flights to destinations up to 500 km, but Van Peteghem’s latest proposal also adds the tax to longer distances – something that was not appreciated by the opposition in the Federal Government.
“This way, this is nothing more or less than a flat tax increase and even causes more emissions,” said MP Theo Francken on Twitter.
Vliegtaks is platte belastingverhoging en zorgt zelfs voor méér uitstoot! https://t.co/UQVwgKKs9G
— Theo Francken MP (@FranckenTheo) December 17, 2021
“Besides, this will in no way impact people’s behaviour. No one believes that because of this tax, someone will suddenly take a train instead of a plane,” he added.
Additionally, as it stands, the tax would be difficult for those fighting for the interests of the Flemish Community (such as N-VA and Vlaams Belang): the tax would hit Charleroi airport a lot less hard than Brussels Airport. Nearly all flights departing from the Walloon airport have a destination more than 500 km away.
Included in the destinations closer than 500 km away that would be affected by this added tax are London, Paris and Amsterdam, as well as Hamburg and Zurich. The tax would be added to tickets to six Brussels Airlines destinations within this radius.