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02 Sep 2015

BY Rob Gill

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TRFBLI

Scottish leader confirms plans to cut APD

The Scottish Parliament has confirmed that it will cut Air Passenger Duty (APD) by 50% in 2018 and the intention to eventually abolish the tax.

Glasgow airport forecourt

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon laid out the plans for APD as her Scottish National Party government published its legislative programme for 2015-16.

 

“We are currently consulting with stakeholders on the best way to apply that reduction across new and existing routes,” said the Scottish government in a statement.

 

APD is due to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament after the UK Parliament in Westminster approves the new Scotland bill.

 

“We are committed to replacing APD with a more competitive regime that better supports our goal of boosting international connectivity and business growth,” added the Scottish government.

 

“We have established a forum, with membership from the airline industry, Scotland’s airports, environmental groups, business organisations and tax professionals.

 

“This forum will support the development of our policy proposals, including helping us to shape a policy consultation on a Scottish APD which we plan to launch this October.”

 

The Scottish government added that it wanted to abolish APD “when resources allow”.

 

British Air Transport Association’s chief executive Nathan Stower called the Scottish government’s commitment on APD “good news for Scottish businesses, families and visitors”.

 

“Halving the UK’s current rates would bring Scotland broadly in line with Germany’s aviation tax,” he added.

 

Some airports in northern England have expressed fears about losing passengers to Scottish airports once APD is reduced north of the border.

 

The UK government has launched a discussion paper looking at options for supporting English regional airports, including the devolving of APD within England, varying APD rates or providing aid to English airports.

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