Welsh Government calls on Westminster to ‘stop dragging its feet’ on Air Passenger Duty powers

Touchdown at Cardiff Airport. Picture by Clint Budd (CC BY 2.0)

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.

 

‘Evidence’

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.

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Lloyd OrangeClive BradleyJonathan GammondJohn EllisRhosddu Recent comment authors
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Alwyn Evans
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Alwyn Evans

When Bristol is so aggressively pursuing the South Wales market with its adverts and direct bus services, and equally agressively expanding its car-parking and flight numbers, it is ironic that it is seen as requiring ‘protection’ by its political lobbyists from the minnow of Cardiff Airport. Between Flybe flight numbers reduction and Thomas Cook disappearance, Cardiff is already significantly disadvantaged in attempts to counter the Bristol bully

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

The behaviours of Bristol’s advocates are strange especially as my general experience ( c.6 trips) when travelling from there compares quite favourably with my 2 recent outings from Cardiff. Is there a degree of irrational insecurity east of the bridge despite their obvious larger catchment ?

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

The Air Passenger Duty issue is an exemplar of how a colony is there solely for the purpose of benefitting the imperialist power that ‘owns’ the colony; it was never intended that the colony should acquire revenue-generating structures that might make it financially independent in even the smallest of ways, least of all if it diverts money away from the owning power. Perhaps the Welsh ‘Government’ is not aware of this fact.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

Whether, in the light of the climate crisis, we ought to be further incentivizing air travel is a moot point. But I see no reason why Wales should be denied devolved powers already accorded to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Jonathan Gammond
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Jonathan Gammond

Considering pollution from aircraft across the UK is a growing problem; APD should be both a local or devolved tax and a UK tax. People who fly should pay for the damage to the environment caused by their actions. No more and no less. Also if the Welsh Government and the UK government lose the income from APD, how are they going to make up the shortfall? It would also help if all Welsh Government taxes had Welsh language names to aid transparency on who is raising the money and which government is receiving the income. At the moment the… Read more »

Clive Bradley
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Clive Bradley

John Ellis has put his finger on it. We seem to have devolution-light, not the full shilling.

Lloyd Orange
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Lloyd Orange

And yet people are still too fearful to vote Plaid. Are the other parties going to fight for this? No. Very simple decision cydwladwyr