Keir welcomes airports’ submission

Posted on 28/10/2014 by

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‘Case for devolution has been made – Labour must drop opposition’

planeThe SNP has today welcomed a joint submission by Scotland’s three main airports to the Smith Commission, calling for Air Passenger Duty (APD) to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament ahead of next year’s General Election.

The submission ‘A Case for APD’ – signed by Amanda McMillan, Managing Director at Glasgow Airport, Gordon Dewar Chief Executive at Edinburgh Airport and Carol Benzie, Managing Director, Aberdeen International Airport – backs the Scottish Government position.

The airports also say they “simply do not understand the foundation” of Labour’s opposition to the devolution of APD.

Their submission states: “Reducing APD will incentivise more direct travel from Scotland, and will likely reduce the need to transfer through European airports to avoid paying APD. We simply do not understand the foundation of the Scottish Labour Party’s concerns here.”

“Unless APD is devolved, people travelling to and from Scotland – who in most cases fly due to the lack of feasible alternatives – will continue to face some of the highest levels of taxation in Europe, which is clearly a disincentive to travel.”

SNP MSP for Edinburgh Western Coin Keir said this submission provided Labour with an opportunity to drop its opposition to the devolution of APD and try to prove that Labour in Scotland was controlled in Scotland and not in Westminster.

Mr Keir, the MSP for Edinburgh Airport, said: “This submission to the Smith Commission by Scotland’s three leading airports is very welcome indeed – it backs up our position and dismantles Labour’s weak proposals.

“The case for the devolution of APD has been made – today’s submission from the airports has demolished any remains of Labour’s threadbare argument against it. Labour in Scotland could start to show that it is Scotland, not Westminster, in control by dropping its opposition and supporting the devolution of APD.

“Assuming this common sense submission is taken forward by the Smith Commission in its proposals – the pressure will be on David Cameron and the Westminster system to act immediately and devolve the powers over APD at once.”

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