Campaigners slam plans to cut APD as ‘inconsistent’ with Scotland’s climate commitments

As a consultation on a Scottish replacement to Air Passenger Duty (APD) closes tomorrow (Friday), campaigners are calling on the Scottish Government to re-think the controversial plan.
 
The Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) coalition response to the Scottish Government consultation on APD says a 50% cut would be ‘inconsistent with Scotland’s climate commitments’ and is urging Ministers to come up with alternative proposals that are consistent with attempts to reduce climate emissions.  It highlights the need to decrease, not increase, emissions from air travel with an increased emphasis on the public being encouraged to use alternatives to flying where possible.
 
Tom Ballantine, Chair of SCCS said:
 
“Air travel is responsible for 13 per cent 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 per cent 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.”
 
Tom Ballantine added:
 
“If the premise of any change in APD is that it will increase flights to and from Scotland, proper weight should be given to the emissions implications of that rationale if it were adopted by all members of the international community. 
 
“Reducing taxes on aviation is inconsistent with the aim of keeping us on track to become a low carbon economy.  Scotland should be continuing to act as a positive example on climate change. That can only be done by implementing low carbon policies in a coherent way.”
 
Ends
 
Notes to Editors
  1. Scottish Government consultation: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Government/Finance/scottishapproach/airpassen...
  2. SCCS Consultation response
  3. http://stopclimatechaos.org/sites/default/files/SCCS-response-APD-Consul...
  4. Source: Based on an average staff nurse salary of £22,926 plus £3144 Class 1 NICs.  Source: http://www.payscale.com/research/UK/Job=Staff_Nurse/Salary
  5. Average £5000 cost for a 3kW panel.  Source: http://www.theecoexperts.co.uk/how-much-do-solar-panels-cost-uk

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