The hot new virtue-signaling trend of “fly shaming” might not be enough to persuade people to fly less, but steep tax hikes might just do the trick. That’s what Germany is cooking up, with the ruling coalition’s new proposed budget featuring higher federal taxes on both short- and long-haul flights. The tax increase, detailed by Bloomberg, is intended to offset a planned decrease in the value-added tax for rail tickets, for a carrot-and-stick taxation approach to social engineering.
- The tax is projected to raise an additional 500 million euros per year. In return the national railroad, Deutsche Bahn, will cut its 19% VAT on rail tickets by half.
- The report containing the tax proposal proudly notes that the increased costs will be most noticeable to travelers on popular discount airlines: “Especially where discount air carriers are concerned — travelers will find that the tax will make up a significant part of the total ticket price.”
- Unsurprisingly the new tax drew angry criticism from discount airlines, who argue it will do nothing to affect emissions, nor will it discourage people from traveling on high-end airlines like national carrier Lufthansa.