Tue 4 Apr, 2017

The government has no aviation strategy that is in line with climate change obligations.

Patrick Harvie MSP, Economy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, has renewed his call for Scottish Ministers to rethink their plans to slash taxes for the aviation industry.

Holyrood's Finance Committee today publishes its initial report having scrutinised the Government's proposal for a 50% cut in Air Departure Tax, the replacement for Air Passenger Duty, the aim of which is to increase flights.

Mr Harvie, a member of the committee, said:

"It's quite clear from the evidence heard by the committee that this policy has zero environmental credibility. The government has no aviation strategy that is in line with climate change obligations. Independent experts are already warning that aviation emissions must be capped, yet it seems SNP and Tory MSPs are ready to ignore that advice.

“But it’s even more surprising that the Government has carried out no economic analysis at all, and is relying on outdated research paid for by the industry that stands to gain. And Ministers have no clue what this policy will do for public finances in Scotland either.

"Cutting taxes for an already-undertaxed industry in the hope that it will boost the economy is the worst kind of economic hocus pocus. This will just be an unfair tax giveaway to big business and wealthy frequent fliers, would harm public finances and would not address the real pressures most people face from the cost of day to day transport.

"I will continue to press for ministers to rethink their flawed plans."

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