THE REDUCTION AND ultimate removed of Air Passenger Duty (APD) will prove to be a massive shot in the arm for the Tourism industry in Moray.
Local MP Angus Robertson has campaigned for years that APD be abolished – or at the very least devolved to the Scottish Parliament.
Now the SNP leader at Westminster is welcoming the commitment by his SNP colleagues at Holyrood to cutting APD in half during the lifetime of the next parliament.
The pledge comes after the recommendation of the Smith Commission that power over APD should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament via the Scotland Bill, which is currently being considered at Westminster.
An APD ‘stakeholder forum’ is also to be held, bringing together interested parties from the aviation industry, environmental groups and tax practitioners. It is expected that will provide expert input into how a replacement tax to cover the revenue lost in reducing and abolishing APD might work.
“APD has long put Moray and Scotland at a disadvantage by stifling our tourism industry and making it more costly to do business,” Mr Robertson said this week, adding: “This is especially the case with other European countries that have already abolished this tax.
“The tourism and export sectors are hugely important for Moray and a boost by reducing APD would be very welcome indeed.
“The development this week is good news and one step closer to reducing and ultimately getting rid of this tax, but we do need the powers to do this to be passed on by Westminster and that is what I will be arguing the case for along with my SNP colleagues.”
Major airlines this week said that they would welcome the reduction in APD and insist that the reduced fares that produced would be a massive boost to the Scottish economy.