Thursday 28.05.2020

52,000 Finns want to pay more taxes for flying

A citizens' initiative reached on Thursday the signatures required for Parliament's consideration.

A Finnair aricraft. Photo: Viola from Pixabay.
A Finnair aricraft. Photo: Viola from Pixabay.

Finns love citizens' initiatives as much as taxes.

If last week, an initiative that called for decriminalization of cannabis made its way to Parliament, now another asking for an additional aviation tax has exceeded the 50,000 signatures needed for consideration.

The petition was launched on 2 May and in the first weeks it did not get too much support. In early October it had only collected 7,000 signatures. This week by Wednesday it already had 25,000 supporters, on Thursday morning it had got 17,000 more signatories and rose to 33,000 but late in the evening it broke the 50,000 barrier, according to Yle.

On Friday, more than 52,000 persons had signed the proposal, which would otherwise had expired on Saturday.  Any initiative has six months to collect the 50,000 signatories required by law. If it is unable to gather this amount of supporters, it expires.

6 to 40 euros in Sweden

The promoters of the initiative propose the adoption of an extra eco-tax or fee to be added to all plane tickets. They explain the fee should be variable depending on "the climate impact" of the different types of flights.

Without specifying the amount to be paid by Finnish travelers, the text indicates that for a year now neighbouring Sweden charges a flight fee of between 6 and 40 euros per passenger.

Finnish airline Finnair told aviation tax campaigners on Thursday that the company supports their objectives of reducing Co2 emissions and fighting climate change, but is not supporting an additional tax for passenger flights.