Labour would scrap the SNP tax cut for frequent flyers


4th October 2017

We're calling on the SNP to leave plans to cut Air Departure Tax on the runway.

What is Air Departure Tax?

Air Departure Tax is a new tax devolved to the Scottish parliament. It replaces Air Passenger Duty and applies to all passengers leaving a UK airport. The SNP want to cut this tax by 50 per cent.

Why does Labour oppose a cut?

We don’t think cutting this tax will make Scotland fairer or greener. It will just mean less money for schools and hospital and would be another tax break for the richest.

It won't make Scotland greener.

The Scottish Government’s own analysis has shown that the effect of cutting this tax would increase air travel and associated greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50,000 tonnes.

Cutting the tax would benefit the richest the most.

People on higher incomes are more likely to be paying air departure tax as they are more likely to be frequent flyers.

The Civil Aviation Authority has previously identified that the mean income of those who fly from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Inverness is consistently higher than £40,000 – similar to the higher rate tax band.

It would cost millions.

The cost of halving Air Departure Tax would cost £189 million by 2020/21. That is:

  • More than the SNP spends on the pupil equity fund to close the attainment gap.
  • Almost twenty times more than the average budget of the Tackling Child Poverty Fund and the Ending Homelessness Together fund.
  • Around six times more than the cost of increasing carers’ allowance.


At a time of more cuts to public services, we don’t think cutting tax should be a priority. Agree with us? Spread this message. 

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