Thirteen Countries to Impose Tax on Airline Tickets to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria; France, U.K. to Review Implementation of IFF
March 2, 2006
Twelve countries on Wednesday agreed to join France in imposing a tax on airline tickets to fund HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria programs, Reuters reports. At the end of a two-day international conference of 95 countries in Paris, an additional 25 countries declined to impose the tax but pledged to contribute funds to a central account created by the 13 countries from the tax (Heritage, Reuters, 3/1). French President Jacques Chirac on Tuesday called on developed countries to impose the tax, which France plans to implement in July (Louet, Reuters, 2/28). The French Parliament in January passed a measure that will add a tax of up to $47 for travelers departing from French airports. Chirac in January 2005 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, first announced the idea for the tax (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/3). The other 12 countries -- Brazil, Britain, Chile, Congo, Cyprus, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mauritius, Nicaragua and Norway -- that agreed to impose the tax will individually decide on tax amounts (Reuters, 3/1). The International Air Transport Association urged governments this week not to agree to the proposal. "Making air transport more expensive is akin to biting the very hand that feeds development," Giovanni Bisignani, head of IATA, said (Reuters, 3/1). The U.S. also is opposed to the tax, which is expected to raise about $248 million annually, BBC News reports. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Tuesday also expressed support for the initiative and urged other countries to follow France's example (BBC News, 2/28). Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso also supports the idea and has proposed implementing a similar tax on weapons of war and on international financial transactions, AFP/Tocqueville Connection reports (AFP/Tocqueville Connection, 2/28).
France, U.K. To Review Implementation of IFF
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