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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

MORAY’S MP WELCOMES SCOTTISH AIRPORTS BACKING FOR APD CHANGE

25/03/2016  

‘AIR TAX REDUCTION WILL BOOST MORAY’S ECONOMY’ - ANGUS ROBERTSON

A new report, commissioned by the British Air Transport Association, confirms that Scottish Government proposals to reduce Air Passenger Duty by half over the next Parliament would provide a boost to the Scottish economy.

Moray’s MP Angus Robertson consistently argued the case for the transfer of APD to the Scottish Parliament to enable the Scottish Government to use it as a tool to increase tourism and investment.

The local MP says a reduction in APD will attract more international visitors to Moray and make it easier to attract investment in the region and for Moray’s existing companies to do business further afield.

Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports have all backed the SNP position on reducing APD.

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 Angus Robertson MP 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.That will delivering cheaper flights for people in Moray and across Scotland. It will support our tourism industry, which is of huge importance to Moray and it will support our local industries, especially those who regularly have to travel to meet potential customers and do business that in turn creates jobs for Moray. In addition it will attract more direct international flights to Scotland.

“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.”

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