The Air Departure Tax (Scotland) Bill, replacing Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Scotland, has been formally introduced to Parliament.
The Bill will mean the Scottish Government can progress plans to reduce the overall burden of the new tax to reduce by 50% from April 2018 and delivered in full by the end of the current Parliament. The tax will then be abolished entirely when finances allow.
The Bill will also set out that Revenue Scotland will be the authority responsible for the collection and management of the tax, after the existing APD regime no longer applies in Scotland.
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said:
“This Bill is a key milestone in making sure Scotland remains an attractive destination for business and tourists alike.
“By reducing the burden of Air Departure Tax by 50% and then entirely when finances allow, we have the potential to open up new air routes, improve our international connectivity and help Scotland access key and emerging markets, while giving due consideration to environmental issues.
“While setting out our overall ambitions for this important new tax, we want to take this opportunity to hear the views of the Parliament and of stakeholders on the detail.
“In the light of the economic uncertainty caused by the outcome of the EU referendum, it is even more important that we use the powers devolved to us under the Scotland Act to look at how we can boost our economy.”
The name was changed to Air Departure Tax as it better reflects the general scope of the tax, which is charged on passengers departing by air from Scottish airports, and also ensures that there is no confusion with Air Passenger Duty, which will continue to operate in the rest of the UK after 1 April 2018.
Powers to replace UK APD were devolved to the Scottish Parliament under the Scotland Bill.
The environmental impacts of reducing the tax are being carefully considered through a Strategic Environmental Assessment.