While this Bill creates a legal framework for a new tax but does not set the rate, Greens cannot support legislation with such weak environmental, economic and social criteria.Andy Wightman MSP
Scottish Green MSPs are condemning the SNP Government for relying on Tory MSPs to approve a Bill which will inevitably increase aviation emissions in contravention of climate change duties and which will reduce tax income for public services by hundreds of millions of pounds.
It follows a report published by the Greens showing that the Scottish Government's plan to cut aviation tax will put £47.3million into the pockets of businesses in the first year, will benefit wealthy frequent fliers rather than families going on an annual holiday, and will grow a highly-polluting industry at the expense of low-carbon public transport.
Today, Green MSP Andy Wightman pressed amendments to the Air Departure Tax Bill that would have forced ministers in setting the tax rate to have done so in a way that delivered on climate targets and reduced inequality but these amendments were voted down by SNP and Tory MSPs.
As a result, the six Green MSPs will vote against the Bill at Decision Time tonight and are urging the Scottish Government to introduce better legislation ahead of the new tax coming into force in April next year.
Andy Wightman MSP said:
"While this Bill creates a legal framework for a new tax but does not set the rate, Greens cannot support legislation with such weak environmental, economic and social criteria. It's not too late for Scottish Ministers to rethink their approach and bring a better Bill to parliament.
“The minority SNP government knows it needs support to pass next year's budget, and unless it indicates a change of approach on this regressive policy it's hard to see how we can engage with them."