Welsh Government calls on Westminster to ‘stop dragging its feet’ on Air Passenger Duty powers
Welsh Government Finance Minister Rebecca Evans has called on the UK Government to stop dragging their feet on handing over powers for raising and lowering Air Passenger Duty to Wales.
In September 2019 the UK Government announced its decision to block the devolution of APD to Wales despite the cross party Welsh Affairs Committee recommending full devolution to Wales by 2021.
The Welsh Government has long argued for the powers, saying a tax cut could help Cardiff Airport, which it owns.
However the UK Government Treasury has formerly said that it feared that devolving APD would put Cardiff Airport at a competitive advantage over Bristol and other English airports.
The Welsh Government said that the devolution of APD was supported by all parties represented in the Senedd, and is already devolved in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
“There is no good reason not to put Wales on an equal footing with Scotland and Northern Ireland in terms of Air Passenger Duty,” Rebecca Evans said.
“The time has come for the UK Government to stop dragging its feet so that these decisions can be made in Wales.
“There is a compelling evidence base and cross-party support for a move that would bring significant economic benefits to Wales.
“We have the chance to grow our economy and reduce journeys to airports within a system that meets Wales’s needs – but we cannot make that a reality until the UK Government gets on with devolving APD.”
Economy and Transport Minister Ken Skates added that devolving APD could incentivise passengers to use more local and regional airports.
“I will be calling on the UK Government to ensure we are right at the heart of discussions over the future of APD,” he said.