Scottish govt confirms plans to cut APD this year

The Scottish government has confirmed plans to introduce legislation aimed at cutting Air Passenger Duty in the country.

In its Programme for Scotland 2016-17 released last week, the Scottish government said this year it would “bring forward a bill to legislate for a devolved tax to replace APD in Scotland so that we can design a tax that better fits the needs of Scotland’s economy and best supports our strategic objective to boost Scotland’s international connectivity”.

It added that it was “committed to halving APD with a view to abolishing it when the resources allow”.

It comes after the Scotland Act 2016, announced in March, transferred to the Scottish Parliament legislative power over taxing transport of air passengers, allowing a replacement tax for APD to be introduced.

The report said the move would “better reflect our objective of boosting Scotland’s international connectivity and economic competitiveness to deliver sustainable growth.”

The replacement tax is planned to come into effect in April 2018.

The new bill will set out the scope and structure of the tax, including the structure of rates and bands, providing for flight and passenger exemptions.

Following the announcement by the Scottish Government, there has been strong calls for the UK to follow Scotland.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said it was wrong for the UK Government to “spend hundreds of millions of pounds to attract people to come to this country only to charge them when they leave”.

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