Parliament gives thumbs up to airline ticket tax

9th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 8 (AFP) - The French parliament on Thursday approved a plan to tax airline passengers from 2006 to help pay for health programmes in poor countries in a scheme which President Jacques Chirac wants to be adopted worldwide.

PARIS, Dec 8 (AFP) - The French parliament on Thursday approved a plan to tax airline passengers from 2006 to help pay for health programmes in poor countries in a scheme which President Jacques Chirac wants to be adopted worldwide.

Despite opposition from the air industry, French deputies, in a lively debate, agreed to the proposal which divided Chirac's ruling UMP party but won the support of the left.

The levy, ranging from one euro to EUR 40 depending on the distance travelled and type of ticket, would be applied on every passenger boarding a flight in France, regardless of the airline.

The plan has so far won the public support of only Britain, Brazil, Chile and Algeria.

Chirac wrote to 145 heads of state or government in July asking for their support. He then argued the case for the proposal at the United Nations in New York in September.

The measure is expected to raise EUR 200 million a year for health programmes that will largely be directed at African states.

The scheme will be reviewed in France two years after it takes effect.

Deputies opposed to the levy, as well as air industry employers and trade unions, fear the costs of the levy on air transport, and a loss of jobs.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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