Vast tax cut for the most polluting form of transport “deeply retrograde”Published 09 December 2016 by Colin Howden
For immediate use: Friday 9 December 2016
COMMENT ON CONSERVATIVES’ APD ANNOUNCEMENT:
VAST TAX CUT FOR THE MOST POLLUTING FORM OF TRANSPORT “DEEPLY RETROGRADE”
Transform Scotland  today commented on the Scottish Conservatives’ announcement this morning on Air Passenger Duty (APD). 
Transform Scotland director Colin Howden said:
“It is disappointing that the Conservatives have reneged on their manifesto promise to resist cuts to APD. The aviation sector is already massively undertaxed compared to other transport modes. At a time when the priority should be cutting carbon emissions, handing aviation an annual £145m tax cut is a deeply retrograde step.
“Pursuing a tax cut for the aviation industry will disproportionately benefit those on high incomes and will only increase social and economic inequalities, directly contradicting the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackle inequalities. The Conservatives have failed to set out what expenditure will have to be cut as a result. It remains to be seen if other parts of the transport budget will have to be cut. It would be grossly unfair if investment in bus services, upon which many of Scotland’s lowest income households depend, has to be cut in order to fund tax cuts for frequent flyers.
“The Conservatives’ proposal does at least have merit in so far as it would not impact on Anglo-Scottish rail services, or on the prospects for the development of a high-speed rail links to Scotland. While still handing a vast tax cut to the aviation sector, the Tories’ proposal has merit over the SNP blanket tax cut proposal in terms of protecting domestic rail services.”
**NOTES TO EDITORS:
 Transform Scotland is the national alliance for sustainable transport, bringing together rail, bus and ferry operators, local authorities, national environment and conservation groups, businesses and local transport groups — see <http://transformscotland.org.uk/who-we-are/our-members/> for details.
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