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Dutch News
Little benefit from surcharges 3/1/2007
AMSTERDAM – An extra tax on airline tickets will result in hardly any benefit to the environment. It may discourage the Dutch from flying to a certain extent, but the number of passengers stopping over at Schiphol will continue to grow. The volume of freight traffic will also increase.

The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP) came to this conclusion on Wednesday after Parliament asked it to draw up an initial anaylsis of the coalition agreement.

Parliament hopes the MNP''''s analysis can give it more insight into the feasibility of Balkenende IV''''s environmental objectives in anticipation of the debate with the new government tomorrow.

The assessment agency did say that the plans to introduce road pricing earlier than anticipated would benefit the environment. This could reduce automobile use by 10 to 15 percent by 2020. Linking the price charged drivers to the impact that their car has on the environment – the cleaner the car, the lower the charge – could result in even more benefit.

The general opinion of the MNP was that the coalition accord was a good start.

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