AIRLINE TAX TO PAY FOR AIDS DRUGS
June 12, 2006
The United Nations estimates that it needs more than $20 billion by the end of the decade to provide preventive education and medicines to the growing number of people infected with HIV/AIDs.
In response, a group of 14 nations, led by France, has proposed a tax on airline tickets that is expected to raise more than $258.3 million a year, says Maggie Farley of the Los Angeles Times.
- France has voluntarily imposed an economy class levy ranging from one euro -- about $1.30 -- in Europe to four euros ($5.15) for longer flights; for first and business class, the fee is 10 euros ($12.00) in Europe and 40 euros ($52.00) elsewhere.
- The United States opposes the tax, but Brazil, Chile, Cyprus, Congo, France, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Norway and Britain have pledged to implement it.
- Starting July 1, France will collect the fee from all flights entering or leaving France.
Furthermore, the funds will go to buying AIDS drugs in bulk to help reduce the prices, and to give incentives to drug companies to produce more antiretroviral drugs for children, which are now more expensive and less in demand than adult formulations, says Farley.
Source: Maggie Farley, "14 Nations Will Adopt Airline Tax to Pay for AIDS Drugs," Los Angeles Times, June 3, 2006.
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