The revelation that the fine print of Westminster’s budget includes a planned rise on Air Passenger Duty (APD) has been condemned as the last thing Scotland needs.

Despite George Osborne failing to mention his plans for the tax on flights during his budget speech, the accompanying documents make clear that the Westminster Government will press ahead with a hike in APD from 1 April 2013.

Commenting, SNP MSP Colin Keir who convenes the CPG on Aviation and whose constituency is home to Edinburgh Airport said:-“This hike in Air Passenger Duty is extremely bad news for Scotland’s airports and the wider economy.

“We should be doing everything we can to attract airlines to Scottish airports so that we can secure the full economic benefits that good air connections bring with them.

“Increasing the cost for airlines to fly to Scottish airports is the last thing that Scotland’s economy needs.

“George Osborne’s failure to change course on this tax hike is symptomatic of a Westminster system that simply treats the needs of Scotland as an afterthought if it considers them at all.

“We need decisions over Scotland’s taxes to be made by people in Scotland, who are by definition the best placed to put our interests first. Only a Yes vote in next year’s referendum will secure us those powers and ensure that the taxation system in Scotland is used to build a fairer, more prosperous country.”