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Rennie: Cutting APD would be giant step backwards

March 14, 2016 3:15 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP has blasted the SNP Government for ploughing on with plans to slash air passenger duty (APD), as he raises concerns over the environmental impact cutting the tax would have.

Today John Swinney launched a consultation on the government's plans to cut APD by 50% over the next five years, with his ultimate goal being the complete scrapping of the tax.

Mr Rennie said: "The SNP present themselves as an anti-austerity party but this tax policy is just another where they are undercutting George Osborne. Scotland has missed its climate change targets for the last four years and any substantive cut in APD would be a giant step backwards and one Scottish Liberal Democrats cannot support.

"Parliament receives practically monthly updates from SNP MSPs on seemingly ever-increasing passenger numbers - John Swinney himself says Scotland's airports are busier than ever. Just last week Parliament was asked to welcome the launch of Icelandair's first flight to Reykjavik from Aberdeen International Airport.

"The SNP's own self-congratulatory motions show the air passenger industry is alive and well in Scotland. We cannot afford a huge rise in emissions if we're to leave a sustainable legacy to our children."