VCÖ makes €350mn kerosene tax call

Austrian Traffic Club (VCÖ) officials have claimed Austria was losing out on around 350 million Euros of annual revenues by not charging taxes on kerosene.VCÖ expert Martin Blum branded the situation an “indirect subsidisation of the aviation industry.”Blum said today (Weds) the government would garner around 355 million Euros per year if it decided to issue kerosene comparable to car petrol taxes.”The price of a ticket for a flight from Vienna to Brussels might rise by 5 to 20 Euros,” he explained.Austrians have to pay around 10 cent taxes for every litre of heating oil, while lorries are charges 35 cent per litre of diesel petrol. “Eurosuper” car fuel is charged with around 44 cent of taxes per litre, while one litre of diesel fuel contains 35 cent in taxes.VCÖ announced around 802 million litres of kerosene was fuelled in Austria last year after 895 million litres in the previous year.The coalition government – formed by the Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) – is currently in talks over how to reduce state debts and the soaring budget deficit.ÖVP Finance Minister Josef Pröll said recently he wanted an “open debate with no taboos”. Pröll warned all ministries would accept cuts in their departments, while SPÖ Traffic Minister Doris Bures is reluctant to raise mineral oil taxes.Motorist associations have said such a move would diminish the “fuelling tourism” the Austria economy has been benefiting from. This term describes the thousands of Germans, Italians and Czechs crossing the border to fuel their cars since petrol prices in Austria are lower than in most of its seven neighbouring countries.A recent OGM survey revealed 90 per cent of Austrians were certain mineral oil companies would carry out price fixing.Many drivers were outraged when car petrol prices soared dramatically shortly before this year’s Easter weekend.