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Swedes flying to exotic locations to pay sky high green tax

Published onsdag 30 november 2016 kl 16.05
Isabella Lövin: Flying is completely exempt from fuel taxes
(3:31 min)
A return trip to Thailand with SAS costs 8,000 today. Under the proposals, a traveller would pay an extra 430 kronor.
A return trip to Thailand with SAS costs 8,000 today. Under the proposals, a traveller would pay an extra 430 kronor. Credit: TT

Swedes travelling to far-flung destinations such as Thailand should be forced to pay a green tax of upto SEK 430 per person, a report presented to the government said Wednesday.

Under the recommendations presented to Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson, a family of four flying to Thailand would pay SEK 1,720 more than they do today.

The government backed investigation suggests a flight tax should be introduced in 2018 which would be broken down into three parts.

The most expensive tax (SEK 430 return) would be for travellers flying to far-flung tourist hotspots, such as Thailand, a popular winter destination for Swedes.

The next highest level would be SEK 280 for flights outside Europe within a radius of 6,000 kilometres from Arlanda Airport.

The lowest level of 80 kronor affects flights within Europe and domestically.

It is estimated that the green tax on flight passengers would raise between 1.75 and 1.78 billion kronor per year. 

Children under two years old would not pay the tax, the cost instead would be met by the airline.

The Social Democrat-Green coalition government set up an investigation into introducing a green tax on flights about a year ago. The idea is to cut down on flight journeys to more environment friendly alternatives.

"One has seen this in other countries and it has not solved the problem," says Mattias Dahl, managing director of the Swedish Aviation Group, Svenska Flygbranschen.

Politicians in northern Sweden, also from the government Social Democrat party, have protested against the tax, which does not surprise Mattias Dahl.

"We are concerned about such a proposal. This is another proposal that will drive away jobs from Sweden. This is about domestic flights in Sweden," he says.

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