Fri 1 Jun, 2018

... they’ve found a way of getting out of their commitment to an ill thought out, evidence-free policy Patrick Harvie MSP

The Scottish Government has announced that “is not possible” to introduce its proposed Air Departure Tax in time for the beginning of the next fiscal year, a move welcomed by the Scottish Greens.

In a written answer from the finance secretary, the government reveals that the new form of reduced Air Passenger Duty will not be in place before April 2019 because of a disagreement with the UK government on “the Highlands and Islands exemption issue”.

Patrick Harvie MSP, the Scottish Greens’ finance spokesperson, says the excuse provides a way out for ministers from an “ill thought out, evidence-free policy”.

Mr Harvie, Glasgow’s Green MSP, said:

“The SNP must be counting their lucky stars that they’ve found a way of getting out of their commitment to an ill thought out, evidence-free policy. They know that if they were to carry out their proposal to slash aviation taxes, something which is designed only to keep airline lobbyists happy, they would undermine their own climate change objectives as well as their ability to achieve a positive result of the next budget negotiations.

“Greens will continue to oppose this pointless corporate tax break in principle, and advocate for sustainable transport policies which put people’s regular public transport first, and the interest of airline shareholders at the back of the queue.”

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Ex SNP Environment Minister admits “issues” with air tax cuts

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Former SNP Environment Secretary Stewart Stevenson MSP has admitted that “there are issues,” with the Scottish Government’s proposals on slashing aviation tax. 

Mr Stevenson’s comments were made during a debate on the climate crisis with Green MSP Ross Greer on Good morning Scotland. In response to a question from presenter Gary Robertson about how cutting air taxes could be compatible with declaring a climate emergency, as the First Minister did at her party conference this weekend, Mr Stevenson replied, “I think there are issues around that.”