Government can’t afford to cut air tax blasts charities

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Funding is urgently needed to lower Scotland’s carbon footprint not pay for it to be increased say environmental groups

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2nd June 2016 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

Environmental activists have slammed plans to cut tax on air travel in the UK.

The Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) coalition is calling on the Scottish Government to re-think its proposal to slash air passenger duty (APD) by 50%, blasting it as an inconsistent policy.

In its response to a government consultation, the coalition, made up of is more than 100 organisations, says the proposal goes against the climate commitments’ it has set for Scotland and is urging ministers to come up with alternative proposals that are consistent with attempts to reduce climate emissions.

This money giveaway for already undertaxed airlines is the last thing Scotland can afford

Tom Ballantine, chair of SCCS, said: “Air travel is responsible for 13% of Scotland’s transport emissions, despite the fact that half of the population do not fly in any given year. It’s the highest emitter of carbon dioxide per passenger kilometre and the only sector where emissions have risen significantly over the past 20 years.

“The Scottish Government’s own analysis shows that its plan to cut APD by 50% could result in up to an extra 60,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases reaching the atmosphere each year. That’s why we’re calling on the Scottish Government to rethink its plans and put forward alternative proposals that use new APD powers to help to reduce Scotland’s climate change emissions.

“Our consultation response also shows that keeping APD at its current level is good for the nation’s finances and public services. The £300m raised each year from APD is the equivalent of employing 11,507 nurses or installing solar panels on 60,000 homes, which is almost every home in Dundee. 

“At a time of austerity cuts and whilst funding is urgently needed to support Scotland’s low carbon future, this money giveaway for already undertaxed airlines is the last thing Scotland can afford.”