THE Scottish Government is to press ahead with plans to scrap air passenger duty (APD) despite a majority of people who responded to a public consultation raising concerns about the move.
The SNP manifesto proposed cutting APD by 50 per cent from April 2018 and eventually abolishing the tax. But many responding to the consultation said ending APD could mean more air travel with a negative impact on the environment, and raised concerns about loss of funding to public services.
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said APD was one of the most expensive taxes of its kind in the world and acted as a barrier to Scotland’s ability to secure new direct international routes and maintain existing ones.
He said the consultation results would allow the government to “begin the process of developing plans on how a Scottish replacement tax should be structured and operated to help boost Scotland’s international connectivity and economic competitiveness while giving due consideration to environmental issues”.
But he said: “Our plan, taking into account the responses to the consultations, will be to start reducing the overall burden of a new tax in Scotland from April 2018, implement a 50 per cent reduction in full by the end of the current Scottish Parliament, and then abolish the tax entirely when public finances allow. This a fundamental component of our efforts to boost Scotland’s economy.”