Azara Blog: Chirac thinks airlines are responsible for global poverty

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Date published: 2005/11/23

The BBC says:

The French government has approved plans for a new tax on airline tickets to boost aid for the world's poor.

The tax, which needs parliamentary approval, would range from one to 40 euros depending on the distance travelled and type of ticket.

Levied on every passenger boarding a flight in France, it could raise up to 210m euros ($248m; £144m) a year.

President Jacques Chirac has been campaigning for an international air tax to help fight global poverty.

He first raised the idea during the Word Economic Forum in Switzerland last January, saying an international tax of one euro should be charged on the 3 billion airline tickets issued each year.

He has the support of the UK government, which has agreed to divert revenues from its existing Air Passenger Duty.

In Chile, a $2 surcharge will be added to tickets on all outgoing flights from January 1 2006.

But the US has made it clear that it does not support the idea, and it is not clear how many other governments will adopt Mr Chirac's proposal.

A stupid idea from Chirac. Why air passengers? Why not people who buy cars, or people who buy perfume, or people who buy books, or people who buy just about anything you can imagine? Indeed, if the government of France is so keen on foreign aid, it should just increase income tax or sales tax or some other general tax. Are air passengers to blame for global poverty? And, needless to say, Chirac and the parliamentarians will be not affected at all by this tax because the French taxpayer pays for them to fly everywhere.

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