Committee (4th Day)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 15th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Davidson of Glen Clova Lord Davidson of Glen Clova Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow Advocate-General for Scotland, Shadow Spokesperson (Scotland) 6:00 pm, 15th March 2012

My Lords, we on these Benches oppose the amendment at this juncture. While true it is that the Calman commission recommended that this tax be devolved-and true it is also that Labour's White Paper said that tax should be devolved-if there is any thought that this is a sudden volte-face on the part of Labour, I am afraid that that is not the case.

Her Majesty's Government said in the Command Paper that air passenger duty was under review. There is a question on whether a tax per plane might be discussed. We consider that it is not appropriate at this stage to devolve this tax until the issue is resolved; I think that we agree with the Government on this. However, the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth, might be relieved to hear that there is a power to create new taxes, which I think he might be aware of. In due course, under new Section 80B, were the air passenger tax to be devolved, this option would be open.