Air Tax Reduction Will Boost Local Economy
Responding to publication of the report, both Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen Airports have backed the SNP position.
The report notes that the UK APD rate for long haul flights is the highest in the world – a reduction in the rate by 50 per cent would see Scotland place eight places lower than the UK. According to Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive of easyJet, a reduction in this Air Tax would boost the economy “…by supporting tourism, investment and business activity.”
Commenting, SNP MSP Mark McDonald said:
“This report makes clear, yet again, that having the highest air tax rates in the world holds back the Scottish economy and the SNP’s plans for a reduction in APD will provide a welcome boost.
“We are committed to reducing APD by 50 per cent over the next Parliament, delivering cheaper flights for people in Scotland, supporting our tourism industry, creating jobs – and bringing more direct international flights to Scotland.
“Despite the clear economic benefits of this change, the only business policy Labour has announced is to stick with the highest Air Tax rates in the world.
“The SNP government is committed to taking the action required to support businesses and grow our economy – developing our vital tourism sector is central to delivering this ambition.”
Amanda McMillan, chief executive of AGS Airports Limited which owns both Aberdeen and Glasgow airports, said:
“Scotland’s major airports have always had a very clear position on the importance of abolishing APD and the findings of the BATA report simply reinforce that position. APD is the highest form of aviation tax in the world and its reduction, and eventual abolition, will undoubtedly play a major role in strengthening Scotland's connectivity. This is not just about securing new routes. APD makes it difficult to sustain existing services, so we would urge the Scottish Government to implement its promised 50% cut in APD as soon as possible to ensure our tourism industry can continue to flourish and Scotland’s economy can thrive.”
Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s Chief Executive said:
“We warmly welcome the SNP’s position that Air Passenger Duty (APD) is a regressive tax that hampers growth in Scotland.”
The BATA report can be found here: http://www.bata.uk.com/03/flying-high-how-competitive-is-air-passenger-duty-2