Committee (4th Day)

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

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Photo of Lord Sassoon Lord Sassoon The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury 6:15 pm, 15th March 2012

No, my Lords; I do not propose to repeat the arguments and debates-interesting, important and lengthy though they were-because we should turn to the specifics of air passenger duty, which is the subject of the proposed new clause. Air passenger duty is an important issue on its own account, but it is not an easy one, for reasons to which my noble friend and others have referred. It is precisely because air passenger duty is so important that the Government have specifically sought views on the merits of devolution from a UK and a devolved perspective in their recent consultation. The responses provided arguments both for and against. Several respondents argued that devolution was necessary to reflect the distinct economic and social conditions in Scotland, and the impact that this has on flights to and from Scotland, in support of the Calman recommendations. Others opposed any devolution of air passenger duty, arguing that it would complicate the APD system and create potential distortions in the market for flights. There was no clear view either way. The Government's response to the consultation was published on 6 December 2011.