Greens warn over air passenger duty

Written by Nicholas Keyden on 6 August 2015 in News

Patrick Harvie warns aviation industry will “fight tooth and nail against any fair and sustainable solution” ahead of a consultation on Air Passenger Duty

Patrick Harvie has warned that the aviation industry will “fight tooth and nail against any fair and sustainable solution” ahead of a consultation on the future of Air Passenger Duty (APD).

The warning follows deputy First Minster John Swinney’s decision to launch a Scottish APD stakeholders forum on the future of APD, with a view to cutting it by half.

Responding, Harvie said: “They already enjoy massive tax breaks, and they know that continual growth in aviation is simply incompatible with responsible climate change policy.”


Andy Burnham releases Labour leadership manifesto

Ruth Davidson announces switch from Glasgow to Edinburgh

Milk protest sympathy from Rural Affairs Secretary

The Scottish Greens' co-convener urged the Scottish government to ensure “high profit, high polluting” airline companies pay their fair share of tax.

With APD set to be devolved, the Greens warned that scrapping the duty would see the Scottish government increase climate change emissions by 60,000 tonnes.

Speaking during a visit to Edinburgh Airport, Swinney said: “We want to be consultative and collaborative as we have been with the new fiscal levers already devolved to Scotland.

“The forum and this autumn’s policy consultation allow us to take the next step and begin the process of designing and developing a Scottish APD to help deliver our objective of sustainable economic growth."

Meanwhile Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown added: “UK APD has been the most expensive tax of its kind in Europe and continues to act as a barrier to Scotland’s ability to secure new direct international services and maintain existing ones.

“Devolution of APD to the Scottish Parliament will provide the opportunity to put in place new arrangements which better support the Scottish Government’s objective to help generate new direct routes and increase inbound tourism. Our plan to initially cut APD and then abolish it when public finances permit is a fundamental component to improving Scotland’s international connectivity”

Harvie responded: “While it's encouraging that Scottish ministers are no longer proposing to scrap APD without a replacement, it's clear that the aviation industry will fight tooth and nail against any fair and sustainable solution.

“The most positive idea yet proposed is a frequent flyer levy, under which people would pay nothing if they took one return flight a year, but after that the levy would rise with each extra flight.

“This would acknowledge the enormous environmental impact of aviation, while recognizing that most of the growth in flights isn't due to people taking an annual family holiday - it's due to a wealthy jet-set minority, who are coming to treat air travel as casually as hailing a taxi.”



Related Articles

Sketch: MSPs debate whether or not islands exist
21 June 2018

Parliamentary sketch: A debate on the Islands Bill brings out the best in the chamber

Brexit and Scotland's rural economy
21 June 2018

Concern over challenges faced by rural communities have been long-running, but with Brexit on the horizon, new ones have emerged

Michael Gove to face questions from MSPs on uncertainty surrounding Brexit
20 June 2018

Environment Secretary will next week take questions via video link from both the environment and rural economy committees on agriculture, environment and fisheries policies and frameworks

Households facing greatest risk of fuel poverty least likely to access support, finds Citizens Advice
19 June 2018

Report identified those in rented flats, both in the private and socially rented sector, households in rural areas and those relying on electric heating as particularly at risk

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: 5 ways IoT is transforming the public sector
5 February 2018

Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery

Share this page