Scottish Air Tax Would Benefit Wealthy Travellers, Campaigners Say

By Hans Esser, for 20 June, 2017

Wealthy frequent fliers stand to gain over 40 times as much from Scotland's plan to cut aviation tax than average taxpayers, according to a new report.

Scotland's Government is seeking to replace the UK's Air Passenger Duty (APD) with a devolved Air Departure Tax.

Under the plan, which was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in December, the nation intends to charge the levy on passengers by air from Scottish airports and reduce the tax burden by a half over the period from April 2018 to the end of the parliamentary term. The Scottish Government said the tax will then be abolished entirely when finances allow.

The report, which was written by campaign group Fellow Travellers on behalf of the Scottish Green Party, found that 70 percent of those in the wealthiest income decile, earning over GBP45,210 (USD57,275), stand to benefit directly from a cut in air passenger taxes.

It said that businesses will gain 29 percent of the benefit, worth USD47.3 million in the first year.

Meanwhile, over half of Scots do not fly and will therefore be "losers" under the planned policy change, the report said.

"This is nothing short of a bung to business, will deprive public services of vital funds, and do nothing to reduce inequality or tackle the climate crisis," said Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman.

Being introduced as part of the tax devolution settlement with the United Kingdom, the Bill sets out that Revenue Scotland will be the authority responsible for the collection and management of the tax, after the existing APD regime no longer applies in Scotland.

Tags: Expatriates | Wealth | Tax | Business | Aviation | United Kingdom | Services | Expats | Travel | Tax | Scotland |


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