International Chamber Condemns Airline Taxes

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) condemned proposals for a tax on airline tickets to raise funds for development aid and said there are better ways for business and government to help lift people out of poverty. New economic opportunities are needed, not a new tax, said ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban, who stressed that removing barriers to trade, investment and entrepreneurship in an open market should remain the preferred means of achieving long-term development. French President Jacques Chirac, who proposed the air ticket tax, has convened a two- day ministerial conference in Paris to encourage more countries to implement the proposed tax. France has announced it will begin levying the tax on July 1, and is pushing for other countries to follow suit. When the plan is introduced, flight tickets originating in France will be subject to a tax of up to 40 euros per passenger depending on the flight class and destination.

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