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The Scottish government has scrapped plans to reduce the air departure tax for passengers flying from airports in the country after it faced criticism over the environmental impact of the move.

The government had been planning to reduce the tax – which will replace Air Passenger Duty (APDAir Passenger Duty (UK only): An excise duty charged on the carriage of passengers flying on an aircraft with an authorised take off weight of more than ten tonnes or more than twenty seats. Due when ...) in Scotland – by 50 per cent before eventually abolishing it altogether.

Concerns had been raised that the move could increase greenhouse emissions if more flights are established due to reduced taxes.

Now finance secretary Derek Mackay said that reducing the fee was “no longer compatible” with Scotland’s climate targets.

Mackay added: “We continue to support our tourism industry, which is going from strength to strength, and we will work with the sector to develop in a sustainable way. We welcome their efforts – and those of the aviation industry – to reduce carbon emissions.”

The U-turn has been criticised by the aviation industry, with some saying Scotland will miss out on new routes because the tax makes establishing them financially unviable.

Source: BBT