Today the Scottish Government gave a statement on Air Departure Tax.
Scottish Labour has consistently opposed this cut, as it is wrong to introduce a tax cut which predominantly benefits the well-off in our society at a time of financial constraint.
Furthermore, this proposal from the Scottish Government is inconsistent with Scotland’s climate commitments which world-leading targets. The implementation of these proposals would mean that the drive towards a low carbon economy will be in doubt. You cannot offer a tax cut to airlines with the aim of increasing the number of flights and not take into consideration the implications that that will have on the level of emissions.
The statement today claimed a difficulty with EU law and the Highlands & Islands exemption means the policy will be delayed.
Scottish Labour Transport Minister Neil Bibby said, “Passengers in the Highlands & Islands have received an exemption for years and exemptions must continue. The devolution of Air Passenger Duty was agreed by the Smith Commission three years ago and it has been SNP policy for many years before that. Now Derek Mackay is telling us that he can’t switch on Air Departure Tax despite the Parliament passing a piece of legislation agreeing to do so. The SNP is using a convenient opportunity to kick a bad policy into the long grass. Let’s be clear. The SNP’s ADT cut is bad policy. Instead of delaying it, it should be cancelled. The SNP cannot justify a multi-million-pound tax cut for the frequent flying few at a time of real hardship and austerity for the people of this country.”