New EU transport chief suggests kerosene levy

Barrot reopens debate on aircraft fuel tax for internal flights; Kovács fails to impress on energy

EU transport-commissioner designate Jacques Barrot has suggested that the bloc introduce a tax on aircraft fuel for internal flights. The Frenchman's remarks at a hearing before MEPs last week have put back on the EU agenda an idea rejected by the current European Commission five years ago.

"Would it not be possible to introduce a low rate of tax on intra-community flights which are not exposed to international competition?" Mr Barrot said. However, the tax could only be introduced "when fuel prices have settled down" and would have to take account of both competitive and environmental effects, he added.

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