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Scottish Government launches Air Passenger Duty consultation

14 March 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, International Airport Review

The Scottish Government has put forward plans setting out how it intends to reduce Air Passenger Duty (APD) by 50 percent on flights from Scottish airports.

Air passenger Duty

A consultation paper seeking views on how a new tax to replace Air Passenger Duty in Scotland should be structured and operate has been launched Deputy First Minister John Swinney at Edinburgh Airport. The move will reduce the tax by 50 percent.

Plans to cut Air Passenger Duty by 50% on flights from Scottish airports

With control of the tax soon to be devolved to Holyrood as per the Scotland Bill, the Scottish Government intends to use the new power to introduce a new tax replacing UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Scotland from 1st April 2018. The Scottish Government believes the move will generate sustainable growth by boosting Scotland’s international air connectivity.

“Air Passenger Duty (APD) is a regressive tax that hampers growth”

Commenting, Edinburgh Airport’s Chief Executive Gordon Dewar, said:  “We warmly welcome the Scottish Government’s well documented position that Air Passenger Duty (APD) is a regressive tax that hampers growth.

“We are delighted to welcome Mr Swinney here today and it is great that the Scottish Government has chosen to launch this consultation paper at Scotland’s busiest airport.

“Edinburgh Airport will continue to make the strong case and highlight the benefits of a 50 per cent cut to APD in one move in April 2018.”

“Ministers in Westminster need to acknowledge that their failure to respond has created a lot of uncertainty”

Reacting to the announced consultation, Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association, said: “The Scottish Government has been doing all the running on this issue for a long time now, and Ministers in Westminster need to acknowledge that their failure to respond has created a lot of uncertainty. Scottish Ministers have been quite clear that they will start to reduce APD by 50% in 2018. Given that the Treasury’s own analysis suggests that such a move will create a competitive distortion and damage airports in other parts of the UK, we desperately need the Chancellor to respond to his own discussion paper on this matter – itself well over 6 months old – and offer reassurances that a cut anywhere in the UK should be matched immediately by a cut everywhere.”

The consultation will close on Friday 3 June 2016

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