THE SCOTTISH CONSERVATIVES have urged the SNP to set out their position on Air Passenger Duty (APD).
Conservative MSP and energy spokesman, Murdo Fraser, called for the SNP to discuss how the power would be used now that the smith commission has recommended its devolution.
In the White Paper, the Scottish Government previously hinted a separate Scotland would have sought to reduce the levy by 50 per cent at some point in the next six years.
The Scottish Conservatives say they want to see the duty abolished in the hope that it could boost tourism and allow Scotland’s airports to be more competitive.
Energy spokesman Murdo Fraser urged ministers to set out their position as part of today’s Tourism – a Legacy From 2014 debate in the Scottish Parliament. He said:
“It has not been possible to have a debate on tourism in recent years without APD being raised.
“We have frequently heard concern expressed from the industry that this is having an impact on the number of visitors to Scotland by air.
“We believe the rate of APD is holding back the growth of tourism in Scotland, and for that reason we welcome the Smith recommendation that APD will be devolved.
“Now we know that economic lever is coming to Holyrood, it’s time to move on from discussing whether or not we have the power, to how that power will actually be used.
“That’s why the Scottish Government must now set out its plans for APD.
“If it’s pernicious as the SNP has claimed, I assume that it will want to set out at a very early stage what its intentions are.
“The Scottish Government must now live up to the rhetoric of previous years.”