Monday, 10 October 2011
Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has welcomed the publication today of an open letter by a group of leading North-east business and public sector figures to the Chancellor calling for devolution of Air Passenger Duty (APD) to the Scottish Parliament.
The letter is endorsed by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, the LibDem Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, the Leader of Aberdeen City Council, North-east Scotland SCDI, NESTRANS, BAA Aberdeen Airport, Aberdeen City & Shire Economic Futures and Eastern Airways.
Commenting, Dr Whiteford said:
“Support is growing for devolution of APD and, given the changes proposed for Northern Ireland, the Treasury must recognise its refusal to devolve control to Scotland is unsustainable.
“There is overwhelming evidence for the devolution of APD with all four of Scotland’s largest airports backing the call and Transport Scotland saying ‘there is no good reason why passengers in Scotland should have to continue to travel in such numbers through other UK airports or should not benefit from levels of connectivity enjoyed in other parts of the UK’.
“Devolution of APD would enable us to incentivise airlines to provide new direct international routes, providing Scotland's passengers with enhanced options as they go about their business more freely and more effectively. It would also provide a substantial boost to the Scottish economy and create jobs.
“It is time for the UK Government to stop being hypocritical and allow Scotland to have control over flight taxes, just like Northern Ireland.”
HM Treasury’s Northern Ireland announcement: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/press_107_11.htm