New poll reveals that around three quarters of Scots are against the proposed air tax cuts

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4th October 2017 16:16 - Transport and Distribution

New poll reveals around three quarters of Scots are against the proposed air tax cuts

New poll reveals that around three quarters of Scots are against the proposed air tax cuts: The poll, conducted on behalf of The Scottish Green Party (also known as Scottish Greens) asked 1,016 Scottish people whether they preferred their government to update public transport services or reduce Air Departure Tax (ADT).

The Air Passenger Duty (APD) was initiated in 1994, taxing all passenger flights from UK airports at just £5-£10 per person. Yet following changes in April this year, taxes increased to £13 for economy and £26 for all other classes. Additionally, flights that travel more than 2,000 miles were also increased to £75 economy class and £150 for other classes.

Despite APD contributing £3billion per year to the UK economy, the Scottish government plan to scrap this by 50 per cent in the hope of improving flight connectivity and the Scottish economy. If cuts provide this benefit, the Scottish parliament will plan to scrap the tax completely. Those who are against this, however, say that the cuts mean less money will be spent on improving other forms of public transport.

The survey informed the respondents on the pros and cons of the Air Departure Tax deduction and asked them if they’d rather prefer the Scottish government to spend money on public transport improvements, or cut ADT. 

Out of the respondents, 60.5% favoured improving public transport, whereas only 21.2% supported the cut.

Respondents were then shown a list of changes and asked which ones would have a positive impact on their lives:


·       45.3% said spending money on improving transport infrastructure;

·       26.1% said spending money on improving public transport;

·       12.7% said building new transport infrastructure;

·       8.3% said reducing air fares by cutting Air Departure Tax;

·       7.6% said they did not know.


Following these statistics, Scottish Greens co-convener, Patrick Harvie MSP, said: “For years Greens have argued against the SNP's determination to cut aviation tax as it will benefit the wealthy rather than helping most people with everyday journeys.”

He added: “Rather than listening to the aviation industry lobbyists, ministers need to listen to the public, cancel their proposed tax cut and step up investment in the buses, trains and bike lanes we all need.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson also commented on the proposal: “Air Passenger Duty is one of the highest taxes of its kind in the world, and by far the highest in Europe.”

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