Wed 8 May, 2019

Scottish Greens have hailed a vote to abandon planned cuts to air passenger duty and called on other parties to follow their lead in tackling the climate emergency.

A debate brought by Labour MSPs called for parliament to support dropping the tax cut, something which Greens have pushed for consistently. An SNP amendment, which passed with Green support, committed the Government to the policy u-turn, whilst also highlighting progress on low carbon infrastructure spending and introducing workplace parking levy powers – both of which have resulted from Green budget wins.

Patrick Harvie MSP, the Greens’ parliamentary co-leader, said:

“This vote shows Greens are leading the change on the climate emergency. We’ve been the only party consistent in our opposition to the APD cuts on environmental grounds and we’ve consistently secured policy progress in budget negotiations, including commitment to annual increases in the proportion of infrastructure spending allocated to low carbon projects, as well as this year agreeing to give councils powers for introducing a workplace parking levy. We need other parties, who accept there is a climate emergency, to make policy similarly on matters of principle, not political opportunism.

“That matters because there’s clearly much more this current government can do. Just on aviation, the SNP’s welcome u-turn on their tax cut for the wealthiest is the least they can do. It’s hard to see how any party which finally admits there’s a climate emergency can now support increasing the number of flights by any means, so the SNP and others should abandon their support for Heathrow expansion.”

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