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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

ROBERTSON WELCOMES MILESTONE ON AIR PASSENGER DUTY REFORM

07/08/2015  

Angus Robertson, SNP MP for Moray, has welcomed the first meeting of the Scottish Air Passenger Duty (APD) stakeholder forum this week, chaired by Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown.

The local Moray MP has long campaigned for major changes to APD with the issue being pushed at both Holyrood and Westminster by the Scottish National Party.

The SNP’s Mr Robertson has long argued the benefits of devolving power over APD to the Scottish Parliament and this forms part of the ongoing debate on the Scotland Bill.

For business and leisure air passengers in Moray the reduction and ultimate removal of APD would be a huge boost, making family holidays more affordable and making it easier for local exporting businesses to reach their markets.

The Scottish Government has made a commitment to cutting APD by 50 per cent during the lifetime of the next parliament. There will also be a policy consultation launched on Scottish APD this autumn.

Last year the Smith Commission recommended that power to control APD should be devolved to Holyrood via the Scotland Bill, which is currently being considered at Westminster.

Angus Robertson MP said:

“APD has long put Moray and Scotland at a disadvantage by stifling our tourism industry and making it more costly to do business. This is especially the case with other European countries that have already abolished this tax.

“The tourism and export sectors are hugely important for Moray and a boost by reducing APD would be very welcome indeed.

“The development this week is good news and one step closer to reducing and ultimately getting rid of this tax, but we do need the powers to do this to be passed on by Westminster and that is what I will be arguing the case for along with my SNP colleagues.”

The APD stakeholder forum brings together interested parties – from those in the aviation industry to environmental groups and tax practitioners – to provide expert input into how a replacement tax could work.

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