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A senior representative of the Scottish government has reaffirmed the commitment ?to cut Air Passenger Duty by 50% following devolution of tax raising powers.
Keith Brown, Scottish government cabinet secretary, told the Airport Operators Association conference in London yesterday: "We've said we will reduce APD by 50%? in the next parliament."
However, Dale Keller who heads the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR-UK)?, challenged Brown, saying he fears a dilution of the commitment.
Keller warned: "It seems like a slippage to a phased reduction."
Brown insisted: "?We will introduce a Scottish replacement tax in 2018."
But he added: "Structuring a replacement tax is complex. We have established a group that includes representatives of the airline industry to look at how to do that." Keller sits on that group.
Brown said: "These issues are being discussed. The burden [of APD] will be reduced by 50%.
"The kind of things we're discussing are whether we use the 50% to encourage new routes or to enhance connectivity."
Yet he insisted: "We've long shared the aviation industry view that APD is unacceptable. We will eliminate APD entirely as soon as resources allow."
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