Holyrood’s Finance Committee endorses Air Departure Tax Bill but criticises the Government’s lack of evidence

01.04.2017

The general principles of the Scottish Government’s Air Departure Tax (ADT) Bill have been endorsed in a parliamentary report published today.An aeroplane in flight

Holyrood's Finance and Constitution Committee has however called for the Government to produce supporting evidence on the economic, social, financial and environmental impacts of their proposals.

The committee says the evidence must be made available to Parliament before MSPs are asked to set the tax rates and bands for flights departing from Scottish airports.

The committee has also recommended that the Finance Minister commissions an independent economic impact analysis on the Government’s proposed policy of a 50 per cent reduction in AD tax by the end of the parliamentary session.

Finance and Constitution Committee convener, Bruce Crawford MSP said

"The Finance Committee recognises that the Air Departure Tax Bill is an enabling Bill. 

“Nevertheless, we are disappointed by the government’s lack of information on exemptions to the tax, and on the economic, social, financial and environmental impacts that will result from a 50 per cent reduction in ADT.

“The Committee considers it essential, therefore, that evidence of these impacts, to support the Government’s policy approach, must be made available in good time to allow for parliamentary scrutiny. 

“The Finance Committee will consider such evidence carefully when it comes to setting the first tax rates and bands under ADT.  In the meantime, we support the general principles of the Bill.”  

Purpose of the Bill

The overall purpose of the Bill is to provide for a tax on the carriage of passengers by air from Scottish airports. 

Ten out of eleven members of the committee supported the general principles of the Bill that will ensure a tax can be levied. 

The stage 1 debate on the Bill is likely to take place after Easter.  If the Bill is passed by Parliament, the first rates and bands for the tax are likely to be considered by MSPs after the summer recess.

The full report can be found here: https://digitalpublications.parliament.scot/Committees#financeandconstitutioncommittee

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