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Cut to aviation tax poses threat to Scotland’s climate targets

Published 21 June 2017 by Transform Scotland

In advanced of yesterday’s debate in Parliament on the Air Departure Tax Bill, Transform Scotland issued a joint briefing with Stop Climate Chaos Scotland to MSPs outlining our opposition to the proposals to cut Air Passenger Duty.

The Scottish Parliament voted through the Air Departure Tax Bill. Whilst the Bill itself is an enabling piece of legislation, it will pave the way for Air Passenger Duty to be cut by 50%, with the potential of the tax being abolished altogether.

The proposed cuts to APD will have serious impacts for public expenditure, equalities and climate change. APD currently brings in £300 million a year for the Scottish Government – a 50% cut would result in the Government losing £150 million a year for vital public services. Furthermore, the Government is yet to say where this money will lost. A cut to APD has been shown to benefit those on higher incomes significantly more than those on low incomes, whilst budgets for buses, walking and cycling (the modes that lower income groups are more dependent on) are falling as a percentage of the transport budget. Providing a further subsidy for aviation will also encourage people to fly and could substantially increase carbon emissions from aviation. Given that transport emissions are rising and are now the largest source of emissions in Scotland, cutting APD will make reducing emissions from transport even harder.

To read our briefing in full, see here.


APD and buses (1)