Ministers start work on 'carbon tax' for private jets

Private jets could be taxed to help pay for the Island's £300m transition to net zero. (37904992)

MINISTERS have started work to apply a “carbon tax” to private jets, the Treasury Minister has said, but the revenue-gathering measure might not be included in next year’s budget.

Deputy Elaine Millar recently told the States that ministers had met tax and environment officials to “discuss possible options” for the charge.

The commitment to investigate “the introduction of an appropriate carbon tax or charge relating to the operation of private aircraft” was included, via an amendment by the Council of Ministers, in this year’s Government Plan.

Ministers noted at the time that such an initiative would help to fund the £300 million Carbon Neutral Roadmap.

Ministers explained that funding methods would include adopting a “polluter pays” principle when developing new taxes or charges, citing a 2021 study which found that private jets were five to 14 times more polluting than commercial planes when factoring in the number of passengers.

In response to Deputy Jonathan Renouf’s request for an update, Deputy Millar said: “The work has started. It is at a preliminary stage, and the Environment Minister and I had a meeting with the tax team and environment team just over a week ago to discuss possible options for carbon taxes, but there is still more work to be done.”

She added: “I can’t say at the moment whether this would be included in the Government Plan lodged later this year. Any new tax would have to be carefully considered and consulted on with all relevant stakeholders.

“We’d also have to be sure of all the information available. We would have to be sure how any proceeds of the tax would be applied, so I’m not quite sure that it is feasible to include the tax in the next Government Plan, and it could be the one after.”

In the amendment, ministers said that “exploratory work” would consider the best way to establish a proportionate tax or charge which balances the “significant environmental impact” of private aircraft travel with the “important role private aviation plays in servicing the Island as a hub for business and leisure”.

They also said “appropriate exclusions” would need to be established to ensure that operations such as the air ambulance were not impacted, as well as members of the Jersey Aero Club and users of sustainable aviation fuel.

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