SNP urged to change course on ADT cut
In June parliament voted to replace Air Passenger Duty with a new Air Departure Tax, which is expected to be substantially lower
The Scottish Government is being urged to rethink its position on lowering the tax on air travel ahead of a ministerial statement this afternoon.
In June parliament voted to replace Air Passenger Duty with a new Air Departure Tax, which is expected to be substantially lower.
Labour and the Scottish Conservatives voted with the SNP on the change.
But the Scottish Government has suggested the plans may need to be delayed because of complications presented by Brexit.
The BBC reports that ministers are faced with a choice between a legal battle in order to make the cut, or leaving the current system of Air Passenger Duty in place.
The Scottish Government originally said it wanted to cut the new tax by 50 per cent, before eventually scrapping it completely.
However the Scottish Greens have said their support for the budget may depend on what final position the Scottish Government takes.
Patrick Harvie MSP, the party's finance and economy spokesperson, said an opinion poll for the party showed only one in four Scots supported the cut.
“Today’s statement is a chance for Scottish Ministers to show they are listening," he said.
"They must set the first rates and bands soon, and if it amounts to a tax cut for the airlines, they cannot expect to sit down with Green MSPs to agree a budget that implements those cuts. Holyrood’s priorities should be making Scotland fairer and building a clean economy, not giving an undertaxed grossly-polluting industry a free ride."
The Liberal Democrats also voted against the proposals in June.
Energy spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:
“It took years of expert advice and public consultations before the SNP finally bowed to the need to ban fracking for the sake of our environment and climate.
“Now the Scottish Government need to stand up to the aviation industry and change course over their reckless plan to slash airline taxes and pump tens of thousands of tonnes of additional emissions into the atmosphere.
The statement is due at two o'clock this afternoon.
The bill will see Air Passenger Duty, devolved to Scotland as part of the 2016 Scotland Act, replaced by an Air Departure Tax from April 2018, set at half the current rate
The Finance Committee session came after Virgin Trains warned that axing APD could see Edinburgh to London rail journeys fall by around a third
Prime Minister used her speech to revive plans contained in the Conservative manifesto to cap prices for 12 million consumers
Food Processing, Marketing & Co-operation grants handed out to 13 businesses across Scotland