L-eks Prim Ministru u Kap tad-Delegazzjoni Maltija tal-Partit Laburista tas-S&D Alfred Sant saħaq li l-proposta li jiġu introdotti taxxi ġodda “ħodor” fuq il-pitrolju fuq medda ta’ għaxar snin għall-ivvjaġġar bl-ajru se tfisser tnaqqis dirett fil-kompetittività ekonomika tal-gżejjer u destinazzjonijiet periferali.

Waqt dibattitu dwar l-emendi li qed jiġu proposti fil-Kumitat għall-Affarijiet Ekonomiċi u Monetarji (ECON) tal-Parlament Ewropew dwar id-Direttiva dwar it-Tassazzjoni tal-Enerġija (ETD), il-MPE Laburista enfasizza li r-reġjuni gżejjer, remoti u periferiċi se jkunu penalizzati mill-miżuri proposti fid-Direttiva Ewropea tat-Tassazzjoni għaliex jiddependu aktar mill-biċċa l-kbira tal-żoni l-oħra fuq l-ivvjaġġar bl-ajru biex iżommu l-ekonomiji u l-konnettività tagħhom. Huwa sostna li s-soluzzjoni għal dil-biċċa ma kellhiex bilfors tinvolvi eżenzjoni totali mit-taxxa għal kull titjira li twassal lejn – u ġejja minn – gżejjer u reġjuni imbiegħda jew periferali. Id-dħul tat-taxxa seta’ jsir f’passi differenti minn kif kien se jiġri għal destinazzjonijiet oħra, dejjem fuq tul ta’ għaxar snin. Dan jissalvagwardja l-kompetittività tat-turiżmu u setturi ekonomiċi oħra ta’ dawn iż-żoni.

Id-Direttiva dwar it-Tassazzjoni tal-Enerġija tal-Unjoni Ewropea daħlet fis-seħħ fl-2003. F’Lulju 2021, il-Kummissjoni Ewropea ppreżentat proposta għar-reviżjoni tad-Direttiva dwar it-Tassazzjoni tal-Enerġija u pproponiet leġiżlazzjoni ġdida li tintaxxa proċessi li joħolqu tisħin akbar fil-klima. Għalhekk, l-għan ġenerali tad-direttiva proposta huwa li toħloq allinjament bejn it-tassazzjoni tal-prodotti tal-enerġija u l-politiki Ewropej dwar l-enerġija u l-klima.

Filwaqt li rrikonoxxa li l-miżuri proposti huma vitali fl-istrateġija għall-ġlieda kontra t-tisħin tal-klima, Sant sostna li għandhom iżommu bilanċ u jkunu ġusti b’mod ġenerali mal-partijiet interessati Ewropej kollha. Huwa nnota wkoll li l-proposta biex tiżdied taxxa fuq għaxar snin fuq il-fjuwil tal-pitrolju għall-ivvjaġġar bl-ajru se tapplika biss għal titjiriet ġewwa l-Unjoni Ewropea, prinċipalment vjaġġi qosra jew medji. Dan se jpoġġi lill-linji tal-ajru l-kbar f’vantaġġ fuq dawk iżgħar u se jkun qed jissussidja b’mod effettiv il-linji tal-ajru Ewropej u dawk li mhux Ewropej li huma kbar ħafna.

Appoġġjat minn Membri Parlamentari Ewropej oħra tal-ECON, Sant ressaq numru ta’ emendi għad-direttiva li jirriflettu l-punti mqajma fl-intervent tiegħu.


Remote and peripheral regions will be penalised by the European Taxation Directive measures

Former Prime Minister and Head of the Maltese S&D Labour Party Delegation Alfred Sant emphasized that the proposal to introduce new “green” kerosene taxes over ten years for air travel will mean a straight reduction in the economic competitivness of island and peripheral destinations.

During a debate on amendments being proposed in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committe (ECON) of the European Parliament on the Energy Taxation Directive (ETD), the Labour MEP emphasized that island, remote and peripheral regions will be penalised by the proposed measures in the European Taxation Directive because they rely more than most areas on air travel to keep their economies and their connectivity. He argued that a remedy need not be some total exemption covering air travel to islands, remote and peripheral regions but measures could be graduated in a different manner than for other destinations over ten years. This would safeguard the competitivity of the tourism and other economic sectors of these areas.

The European Union’s Energy Taxation Directive entered into force in 2003. In July 2021, the European Commission presented a proposal for the revision of the Energy Taxation Directive and proposed a new legislation that would tax processes which create greater climate warming. Thus, the overarching aim of the proposed directive is to align the taxation of energy products with European energy and climate policies.

While acknowledging that the proposed measures are vital in the strategy to combat climate warming Sant contended that they should retain balance and be fair across the board to all European stakeholders. He also noted that the proposal to raise a levy over ten years on kerosene fuel for air travel will apply only to intra European Union flights, mainly short to medium haul travel. This will put large airlines at an advantage over smaller ones and will be effectively subsidising European and non-European mega airlines.

Supported by other ECON MEPs, Sant has tabled a number of amendments to the directive that reflect the points raised in his intervention.

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