Zaventem Airport main source of air pollution in Brussels region
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Zaventem Airport main source of air pollution in Brussels region

© Pexels
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A tax on jet fuel would not have a significant impact on employment but would reduce carbon emissions by 11 per cent, a leaked European Commission report found. Belgium is one of a number of countries in the European Union that does not apply an excise duty on aircraft fuel nor VAT on airfares.

In March, it introduced a proposal to apply a tax to the aviation sector and backed a proposal to replace short-haul flights with rail travel.

In 2015, a think tank report found that activity at Brussels Zaventem Airport was the main source of air pollution in the surrounding Brussels area.

While a tax on kerosene would reduce jobs in the aviation sector by 11 per cent, it would have a limited impact on global employment figures in the European Union and on gross domestic product.

The tax envisioned in the report would be of €330 per litre of kerosene, and it would also lead to a rise in airfares of 10 per cent, resulting in a dip in yearly air travel.

“The negative impact on jobs in the aviation sector would be made up for by the positive impact that tax revenue would have on other sectors — which could lead to a rise in public spending, resulting in turn in lower taxes and increased spending,” according to the study.

The report, titled “The [European Union] sat on data sat on data showing benefits of ending airlines’ tax break,” was commissioned by the European Commission but unpublished.

The report’s findings were “not in line with what the [European] Commission wanted to hear,” the NGO’s director Bill Hemmings said, cited by Le Soir.

The Brussels Times

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