Scotland business

Bill on Scots air tax introduced at Holyrood

BA planes Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption The Scottish government wants to halve Air Passenger Duty before ultimately scrapping it altogether

A bill has been introduced at Holyrood to establish the tax which will replace Air Passenger Duty (APD).

The Air Departure Tax (Scotland) Bill sets out how the new, devolved powers will be used but does not go into detail on rates.

Holyrood will take control of the air fare tax from April 2018.

The Scottish government said the bill would mean it could "progress plans" to deliver "in full" a 50% reduction by the end of the current parliament.

It added that the tax would be abolished entirely "when finances allow".

The Scottish Conservatives have backed the abolition of duty for long-haul flights - while the Greens oppose any overall tax break for aviation.

The bill sets out that Revenue Scotland will be responsible for the collection and management of the tax, after the existing APD regime no longer applies in Scotland.

'Key milestone'

Scotland's Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said: "This bill is a key milestone in making sure Scotland remains an attractive destination for business and tourists alike.

"By reducing the burden of Air Departure Tax by 50% and then entirely when finances allow, we have the potential to open up new air routes, improve our international connectivity and help Scotland access key and emerging markets, while giving due consideration to environmental issues.

"While setting out our overall ambitions for this important new tax, we want to take this opportunity to hear the views of the Parliament and of stakeholders on the detail."

Edinburgh Airport welcomed the introduction of the bill.

Chief executive Gordon Dewar said: "This is the beginning of a process that will bring economic growth and create jobs in Scotland.

"We welcome the commitment from the Scottish government and the support from the Scottish Conservatives in reducing Air Passenger Duty.

"We hope that other parties will back a move that will boost jobs and revenue in Scotland."

The levy's name has been changed to Air Departure Tax to avoid confusion with Air Passenger Duty, which will continue to operate in the rest of the UK after 1 April 2018.

Powers to replace UK APD were devolved to the Scottish Parliament under the Scotland Bill.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites