It is interesting to see the Tories and SNP working hand in glove to cut Air Passenger Duty (APD). Analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has suggested the SNP’s plan to halve APD would save the top 20% of earners £73 per year whilst the poorest would save just £4 on average. In short, cutting APD will increase inequality.
Furthermore, the SNP Government’s own analysis shows its plan to cut APD by 50% could result in up to an extra 60,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases reaching the atmosphere each year.
Both the Tories and the SNP claim that in the longer-term the move will boost the Scottish economy, but neither say how it will be funded in the short term. Will the £300m needed be taken from Education in a move that will further worsen inequality?
Personally, I’m have trouble understanding how cutting the cost of a holiday in Florida or Australia boosts the Scottish economy.
Would it not be better to maintain APD at its current level and invest the money generated in projects which really do boost the economy? Would it not be better to focus cutting inequality rather than making it worse? Perhaps that and the environment should come before perks for Scotland’s middle class?