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Authorities launch probe into Ryanair

June 14th, 2022

A left-wing commentator dismisses as futile the government’s effort to find out if Ryanair was justified in transferring its windfall tax onto passengers.

Last month, the government imposed special ‘extra profit’ taxes on banks, insurers, energy companies and retail chains in an effort to reduce the public deficit to less than 5 per cent of GDP (see BudaPost, May 27). Officials assured the public that corporations will not shift that burden onto consumers, but that is precisely what Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost airline did last week. The Minister in charge of Economic Development instructed the government’s consumer protection agency to examine whether Ryanair might be found guilty of unfair pricing.

Népszava’s Zoltán Batka finds the ‘extra profit’ tax levied on airlines totally unjustified, as air companies have run significant deficits over the past two years as a result of the COVID pandemic. In a sarcastic remark, he wonders if the government expects airlines to pay their passengers instead of charging them for their flights. He is certain that, whatever findings the authorities will come up with, air tickets will be more expensive in the future as a result of the new tax, as private companies’ mission is to make money. Alternatively, he concludes, they should rebrand themselves as charities.

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